I copied this from another teacher's blog... but now I can't remember whose blog it was! Anyway, I thought it was a fitting meme, now that everyone is in Back-to-School mode. And all good teachers could use a little reflection before they start the new year. :)
I am a good teacher because... I absolutely love what I do. When I was younger, I never felt like I was really good at anything. But then I started teaching and I knew I had found my niche. When I'm not teaching, I'm thinking about teaching. When I am teaching, I'm thinking about ways I could improve. Teaching is what I do best.
If I weren’t a teacher, I would be... a children’s librarian, perhaps. Books and reading make me extremely happy. The only thing that makes me happier is sharing my love of reading with children.
My teaching style is... energetic, creative, flexible, compassionate, fun, quirky, musical, hands-on, noisy… and it’s all me.
My classroom is... my home away from home. I know every nook and cranny of that room and I take great pride in its appearance. It’s a gallery of the children’s work. It’s a safe haven for my students… criticism-free, bully-free, insult-free. It’s a place where books come to life and where first graders become authors and illustrators.
My lesson plans are... a guideline, but not a script. And they’re usually not done on time. And above all, they are not set in stone. I stick to the curriculum, but I’m all about the teachable moments. Those are the best part of teaching.
One of my teaching goals is... to turn my first graders into readers. Even the reluctant ones. I’m convinced that there is a book out there for everyone, and all we have to do is find the perfect fit. Another constant goal is to make learning so much fun that the kids don’t realize that they’re learning.
The toughest part of teaching is... admitting that I’m only one person and that sometimes, I need to take some “me” time so that I don’t fall apart. I can’t solve all the problems of the world in one school year. I can’t guarantee that every child I teach is going to learn everything he needs to know by June. But that won’t stop me from trying.
The thing I love most about teaching is... it’s both consistent and varied. I know what’s expected of me, I know the curriculum inside and out, and the faculty has become like a second family to me. But every year I get a new crop of kids, each with their own unique personality. And you just never know what’s going to come out of their mouths next. It’s never boring.
A common misconception about teaching is... that anyone can do it. I’d gladly hand over my classroom and all its responsibilities for one day to any non-teacher, just to see what would happen. Another misconception is that teachers get nights, weekends, and summers off. Some people don’t realize the long days and late nights we have with things like Open House and Back to School Night and parent conferences. And they don’t know that we spend our nights writing lesson plans and grading papers and worrying about the one student who doesn’t quite seem to be on level with the rest of the class. And they don’t realize that many teachers need to take a second job just to make ends meet (because Lord knows we aren’t paid nearly enough for what we do). And don’t forget the summer classes and workshops we take to keep our skills sharp.
The most important thing I’ve learned since I started teaching is... I affect every child that comes through my classroom, sometimes in ways that I’ll never know. And I’ve also learned that I can’t do everything. And I’ve learned that I’m capable of so much more than I ever realized.