For those of you who do not know me… I thought I would let you know… I am that teacher.
I call my students my “kids” I will spend over 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for close to 10 months with my students. I will celebrate their gains, help them face their challenges, deal with those things that hurt them or confuse them. So yes, these are my “kids” for this time. I will be their guide, their shoulder, the little voice telling them about making good choices. I will worry about them, laugh with them, be frustrated by them and even cry over them at times, especially in June as I watch them leave for the summer. I will tell every new teacher about the importance of building that relationship the first few weeks of school with their kids and doing everything to maintain it.
I am excited about things like PD, Teacher’s Conventions, Edcamps I will come with my ipad, my pencil and book, excited and ready to learn new and interesting things to take back to my class. I will relish the opportunity to network with other teachers who are looking for new ideas and have ideas of their own to share. I will get on my soapbox and share my beliefs about leveled readers (which I do not like), homework (which I dislike more), government testing (which I detest most of all) but I will also share about things like Makerspaces (which my students love), connected read alouds (which they like even more), gamification in learning – using things like Minecraft, Kahoot, and even the Wii to help teach and reinforce concepts I am teaching (which I cannot talk enough about how well it works) and genius hour (which I am totally petrified to try but is on my radar)
I will tell and show my kids it is okay to fail I will freely admit to my students when I have made a mistake. I will not hide it, I will tell them I guess, much like them, I am learning too. I will say “I’m sorry” when it is needed. I will show them that it is not the mistake that defines you, it is where you go from there that does. I will talk about the multitudes of people that did make mistakes, and how they kept trying until they did reach their goal or found a new goal to tackle. I will reinforce daily that fail is a “first attempt in learning” so let’s keep going.
I will spend my free time thinking about teaching I will go to edcamps on my free weekends, I will do twitter chats on holidays and evenings when I have free time. I will read professional books that make me question my teaching and think about how to make changes that will help my students. I will go to book stores to find that one book that will hopefully reach that one student, I will go to garage sales, online sites to find things like lego and building things for my classroom. I will go into school on the weekend, in the summer and on my breaks to rearrange my room, change my book bins and find new ways to share what I want my kids to learn. I will lay awake at night trying to think of ways to reach that struggling student, but also challenge that student who things come easy to.
Most of my friends and my family think I am crazy. My oh so patient husband knew what he was taking on when he married me so he accepts this part of me. But the important thing many need to know is that I am not the only one out there, there are many teachers just like me or even crazier. We are quietly going about our days doing the job we love the only way we know how.
I have always enjoyed an old movie from the 1980’s starring Nick Nolte called “Teachers” I thought it sums up our job well. Enjoy!