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.