29 11 / 2013
w0otw0ot asked: What is your greatest fear as a teacher?
That I am winning students to myself but not really changing their lives.
I know that my students love me. I am 100% confident of that. And I know I love them tremendously. But there are days - moments - when I feel like the biggest fraud as an educator. Is there any learning taking place? Is that learning transforming their lives? Or do we just have a good relationship for useless reasons? I want their lives to be transformed by the truth I teach and by relationship with me, but I just don’t know if that happens.
The most difficult part of teaching, I think, is that the real fruit doesn’t come right away. You can’t know the real impact you have until years later, and even then you might not know. So it’s sort of a guessing game as to whether or not you’re actually doing anything significant.
So my biggest fear is that my students enjoy me and my class and have nice feelings toward me, but that’s where it ends.
OMG. Snix, ya nailed it.
25 11 / 2013
1. As you are getting your classroom ready, remember that the room is more your students’ than it is yours. Obviously, your classroom should suit your teaching style, but everything should be done to benefit your students. Decorations aren’t the highest priority.
2. Don’t buy a ton your first year. You are still figuring out what you will like to use and what doesn’t work for you. Make a bigger purchase mid-year after you have started to figure things out.
3. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Now, you don’t have your directing teacher to help you modify your lessons. It is up to you to constantly reevaluate your lessons, classroom management, assessments, and everything else. Don’t be afraid to change something mid-year. Keep working on things until they goe smoothly.
4. Talk with everyone. It will take time to learn the teacher’s names and what they teach, but it is important to get to know them. All of the teachers and staff are full of great information, from classroom management tips to information about how the school/district runs. I use a lot of strategies in my classroom that I learned from other teachers at my school. It makes it easy for the kids.
5. Know your school’s emergency plans forwards and backwards. You are in charge and you need to know what to do, because undoubtably the first firedrill will be when you have a class full of scared kindergarten students who are covered in paint.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone at your school understands your position. They were new once, too. Where do I sign in? How do I log into the copy machine? Where can I laminate papers? What can I do to help this student? When are lesson plans due?
7. Clean/disinfect your room often. Kids are always sick, and they touch everything. Being a sick teacher is not fun. I make time to really clean mine on Friday afternoons.
8. Have fun! If you’re not having fun in your classroom, chances are your kids aren’t either. And that means they probably aren’t learning as much as you would like. Enjoy your job and the time you spend with your kids. It will make a difference.
9. Get to know your kids. All of them. This isn’t just a semester internship. These really are your kids. Show interest in their lives and show that you care about them. They will care about you, too.
10. Find time for yourself. Yes, you will be very busy and sometimes stressed and frustrated during your first year teaching, but you still need to make the time to do the things that you enjoy. Go for a run, take a little vacation on a long weekend, have dinner with your friends.
20 11 / 2013
Yesterday in one of my classes I got a student to come up and scribe on the board
And he was very careful about how he wrote on the board, like, making sure his handwriting was neat
And one of the students was like ‘LOL OCD’
And all of the students starting cracking up, so I was like
‘HAHAHAHA MENTAL ILLNESS IS SO FUNNY’
And everyone fell silent
yeah that’s what I thought
I love teachers on tumblr
I’m forever doing something like this when words that are descriptors of real people worthy of integrity and respect (hint: all people) are bandied about in my classroom. The newest one I hear students use is, “you’re special.” They seem to think that because they aren’t explicitly using a word rudely and/or are using a more generalized word it is permissible. Soooo, we’re having to break that down and break it off on a near-daily basis.
What does impress me is how much student attitudes about GLBTQ persons have changed in the past five years. GLBTQ people /issues/causes are by no means totally accepted, but student responses are so much more positive than they used to be. My students daily initiate conversations about accepting all people regardless of sexuality and/or gender (and they use the words “sexuality” and “gender” w/o humor!!!), and defend classmates whom are either intentionally or unintentionally (“ew those shoes are gay!”) targeted.
This very long-winded response is to say our students aren’t perfect, but they are exhibiting an ability to be far more accepting than previous generations. What they lack is education about sensitivity, empathy, and sympathy… Which is where we come in.
25 10 / 2013
itsssnix answered: What, as a beloved teacher, do you do when your students start talking about some of your less loved and less…engaging colleagues?
I actually had to deal with this exact issue this week. I said things like, “I’m sorry you’re having issues in ____’s class, and I’m flattered you feel you can talk to me about this, but you need to choose better words,” and “I know you think you’re complimenting me when you say you’d rather be in my class, but you need to think about how that makes me feel for ____,” and “sometimes we have to learn how to work with those whose personalities just don’t jive with our own. I’m sorry you’re not happy in there, but what kind of experiences can we take away from this?”
I spend a lot of time with these three kids coaching them how to speak professionally and communicate effectively with the teachers they don’t get along with. Honest to God: We practice conversations. How to ask for make up work; how to ask for an extension; how to ask for help. They’re nice kids under that rough exterior, but they have terrible communication skills. Then, they rub other teachers the wrong way because of it.
THEN I felt awful when one of my girls tried her “ask nicely on how to do make up work to improve my grade” talk and it disintegrated. She said, “*sigh* I tried talking with Miss S about this too,” and the teacher actually said, “Well that’s not nice you’re talking about me to other teachers.” Like…no. We weren’t talking ABOUT you. We were trying to come up with ways this girl who improve her grade and be an advocate for herself.