Sunday, December 8, 2013

To the Students of Homeroom 9

7 things I’ve come to learn from being a teacher:

1.                    Children, students, are sponges.  They absorb anything you – their teacher, role model, “mom”, counselor, comforter, and comedian – do or say.  They pick up on the things that you subconsciously teach them.
2.                    Children, students, can do anything they put their little minds to.
3.                    Children are smarter than anyone gives them credit for – including their teacher.
4.                    Children just need someone to believe in them – because not every child comes from a home where somebody believes in him/her.
5.                    Don’t be afraid to let your students be independent.  They want the opportunity to prove their responsible and can do what you want them to.  After all, Rule #5: Keep your dear teacher happy. J
6.                    When you give students the opportunity to write, t h e y  c a n  w r i t e.  They just need some guidance.
7.                    A positive classroom environment – positive feedback, comments, sayings, and feeding into students’ intelligence – will take them a long way.  They’ll want to keep coming back to class.

This is a list of things that have come across my heart the past two months of teaching.  This is technically my first year teaching.  I started teaching in March – taking over a third grade class whose first teacher took an early maternity leave, followed by a sub replacement who took on a different position in the district, and then me. Mind you, I teach in a low-income district – my choosing.  In college, I focused on urban education.  It’s where I felt like what I did as a teacher was actually going to matter.  Yes, teachers matter to every child who walks through the classroom door, but something about an urban, low-income district makes me want to take on the challenge.  

Back to my first few months of teaching, it was hard – coming into a classroom two-thirds of the way through the academic year and picking up where everything was left.  I won’t lie, it was super hard to figure out where each child was developmentally and all teaching techniques, practices, and expectations that were being thrown my way left and right. I did it though – to the best that I could.  That’s all anyone asks for, right?  We ask our students to do the best they can, and at the end of the day, it’s all we, as their teachers, can do too.  Those 22 little third graders will never understand the immense impact they had on my life that let me evolve into the teacher I am just 6 months later.  Maybe they will when they look back in 5 years and remember all the times they visited me in my classroom while they were taking a bathroom break from their 4th grade teachers.  ;)

To my former students in homeroom 9, thank you… from the bottom of my heart.  We had some fantastic times together – the best and the worst.  You may not remember what I taught you, but may you remember how you felt in my classroom.  I hope you felt special because that’s exactly what you are.


Post a Comment