being a teacher, Passion, students

This Year, I Was Not the Teacher

I have written of all the things I have changed this year and how amazing the journey has been.  I  have written of the things I have tossed, the things I have kept, and what I never want to try again.  I have argued against something and then changed my mind.  I have dreamed big and I have fallen hard.  But most of all I have been honest.  I may have taught some things to my 23 kids, but really I am the one who has learned.

I have learned that being a teacher means every year your heart grows bigger and you arms longer.  I have learned that my memory can really contain names of former students and their parents, even when I haven’t seen them in 3 years.  I have learned that my students think I am funny, even though my husband would argue against that.  I have learned that there is always a good reason for a dance break particularly if it involves Justin Bieber, even if only to see the boys cover their ears.

I have learned that riddles are best done when paying attention and that not all technology enhances my teaching. I have learned that I can decide to keep a clean classroom or an organized one but not necessarily both, I have also learned to be at peace with this.  I have learned to correct myself when I say my things, or my classroom, this year it has truly been all ours.

This year I have learned that standing by the door in the morning means the kids see me smile right away.  And that standing by the door means good morning is said and I get an instant read of their mood.  I have learned that when I check for homework there will always be one students who forgot it at home or forgets to hand it in.  Thankfully, I have learned that it is truly not the end of the world when homework doesn’t get handed in on time.

I have learned that when you really trust your students to learn, they will push themselves even higher than you could possibly imagine.  I have learned that when you give up a little bit of control, they rise to the occasion and even the worst of days cannot make me want to bring back punishment or rewards.

This year has been a big one for me.  One that will be remembered for many years as the year where I learned to trust my students, fully, completely, and passionately.   So when I look back at why I became a teacher, it was not to be the teacher, but to be part of something bigger, to be part of something that I felt would change the world.  I may not be perfect, lord knows, I would rather not be, but I am doing ok as a teacher.  My students have taught me that.

4 thoughts on “This Year, I Was Not the Teacher”

  1. Great post! Glad you have had such a year of change.This year was also my major turning point year 🙂 My classroom is happier, friendlier and more productive. All it took was a little technology integration, a shuffle of expectations, a true revamp of myself as "the teacher" into a teacher. It is a weight off of my shoulders to be the new me. The old me was ineffective.

  2. This is a lovely post. I especially like paragraph 5 because I see this so often in my own students. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

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