Chapter One: check!
Before now, the most consecutive time I was employed by any one particular company was just under 6 months. I was never fired or asked to leave. Mostly, I left for school reasons and a few times because I was moving. One time I was miserable and gave my 2 weeks and quit… but that’s another post.
So come tomorrow, I will have completed my first full school year as a teacher- 10 whole months, with (most importantly) intent to return. As much as I need the break, and as much as I have longed for summer, particularly these last few weeks, I will desperately miss my kids and my daily routine. So I call this Chapter One of many to follow. (Approximately 41)
And so I head into my last day of the school year, far wiser than I started. I accept myself as a beginner still, but this time with direction and greater purpose. It’s funny knowing people who find themselves starting out their first year of teaching this comming year and feeling like somewhat of a veteran. Me, a veteran?
My “something insightful” to those people just starting out…
There are three qualities a human being must possess inorder to teach well: Respect for all students, Integrity, and Compassion.
You can’t pick who you teach, but you have to love them all the same. It doesn’t matter who their parents are or who they’re not. It doesn’t matter how intelligent they are, if you want respect from them you must give it out first. As a teacher, you’re the older one, the more mature one. Respect isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s a start.
Next, Integrity. In this world of inappropriateness, one must never under any circumstances place themselves in a position to call their integrity into question. You never know how your actions will be interpreted and it’s not worth the risk. You are not there to be their friends you are there to be their teacher. “Friend”= getting walked all over.
Above all, Compassion. This one is my favorite because this is what can’t be learned. You either feel it or you don’t. I was once told that fairness isn’t having the same as everyone else, its having everything you need. I remind my students of that when I have to take the time to give one a little extra help. Give your students all that you have to give them and let them know how important they are to you. If you let yourself see the good in everyone, no matter how hard it is to find, it will make your life much easier– honestly.
These things i’ve realized as I was typing, are more for me than for anyone else. Mostly a reflection of a learning experience. I certainly hope that my students have no idea this site exists, but I hope they all still know how much they have taught me and what they mean to me- They are, and will always be, my very first class.