Thursday, July 28, 2011
how to be a good teacher...
Looking on to a new school year, one that I know will have many new challenges, many of which I don't even know what they could be yet, I take time to thank those people who helped me be a strong enough teacher to survive my first five years. With a burn out rate of approximately 50% in the first five for teachers, I feel pretty lucky to make it through in one piece. And, more importantly, want to still take whatever they throw at me.
So today I share a picture from my days of teaching sixth grade. I had the pleasure to learn so much from the three people I sit with in this picture! Here are just a few of the things that I learned from some pretty amazing teachers.
My kindergarten partners taught me to call five year olds "friends", but never to underestimate their ability to learn. I loved making a little lightbulb motion over my head whenever my kids had a "lightbulb" moment. Five is a pretty fun age because you can literally "smell them learning" as a former partner always said.
My 6th grade partner taught me so much on behavior management and how to run a classroom in an orderly and respectful manner. He taught me that dedication will always turn out results, even to students who may have been given up on in the past.
My 5th grade partner taught me so much about compassion and the ability to start new after the unthinkable occurs. She taught me that "letting go" and giving kids more freedom is okay, and allowed me to grow as a teacher in ways I will never be able to express in words.
So now I leave you with this. We have all heard the saying "those who can, do - those who can't, teach".
Well, I like this version better...
Those who can, do. Those who can do more, teach.
Apparently I can even buy a shirt with that saying.
Hmmm...seems like something a middle school teacher would wear!