Tuesday, May 31, 2011
My first year as a teacher
Things I have learned about being a teacher:
1. You must have an infinite amount of patience...and sometimes, you will lose it. However, it always comes back. If it doesn't, you might want to get a new profession.
2. Most children do not fancy learning about the rules of grammar. Period.
3. Sometimes, what seems to be the impossible is in fact possible. All my eighth graders albeit only two classes passed their writing assessment for the state. While my outlooks were dim that all would pass, they surprised me. I think it wasn't my faith lacking in the students. As a first year teacher, I think it was faith lacking in myself. The day I read their scores, I cried. I cried out of pride for myself and mostly for them. It is a moment I shall never forget as long as are my days on this Earth.
4. You are often sometimes the only person who shows them warmth, care, and love. Sometimes, all they need to hear is I love you. Even when they are bratty 12 year olds who think they know everything. And sometimes, the grown ones like my 14 year olds need the same as well.
5. Don't give up even when you want to.
6. They will try to find mistakes in your powerpoints. AND, they WILL. Don't worry. It makes them feel special if they correct the teacher;) Proofread.
7. Always use proper grammar in the classroom regardless of the subject you teach. Even if you don't think students look up to you they do. I drove my kids crazy as I should being their English teacher about not using country or ghetto slang in my room. Often, I would hear double negatives, "I ain't go no pencil, Ms. Belle...Did you ask me to read number foe..."etc. I would always make them restate using proper grammar. Sometimes, you think Dear Lord above, is this doing any good? Are they even listening to me? And yet, they will surprise you. At our talent show at the end of the year, one of my students was helping host. He used a double negative, caught my glance, and said into the microphone, "Let me restate that." He corrected himself, and said aloud, "Aren't you proud, Ms. Belle?" You know what, if it sinks into one, that's progress. I know they tired of me correcting their double negatives, explaining that doe is a female deer not a door, mines are what miners mined not a possessive form of mine, foe is an enemy and not the number four, fixin' to does not mean "going to" because fix means to repair, and that brung is simply NOT a verb nor a word for that matter.
8. Somethings are worth using from grad school. One of my professors said classroom management (which I could attribute to parenting possibly as well?) is like driving a car. Having the foot on the brake from the start makes it easier for one ease up instead of having one's foot on the gas to start and then trying to slam on the brakes to stop it.
9. Did I say have lots of patience? Ha!
10. That having a summer off is such a treat.
My goal this summer is to learn to cook. Keyword: try
Don't worry! I'll update you on my endeavors for sure.