“You are what the kids need you to be at the moment” (Collins, 2016) This quote really struck a nerve for me in a good way. Admittedly, I am extremely new to this teaching thing, but without knowing or putting it into a phrase, this has become on of my biggest realizations. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that long ago that I thought that just being the teacher (or aide at the time) meant that I was in charge, and learning was what was about to happen. More and more I realize; first you have to gain the respect by building relationships, and then you have to be ready to be so much more than the instrument that imparts information to them. As a teacher I have had to be psychologist, therapist, dad, mom, friend, protector, elder, and role model before ever getting the opportunity to share curriculum with students. It seems to me that this flexibility and resilience are essential attributes of teaching, and help to foster a safe and welcoming environment for students.
Like Amber mentioned in her blog, I also like the part about throwing out the notion of perfect lesson plans. I hadn’t quite given up on that idea already, but it was close to dismissed. Some of my best lessons have been some that didn’t go anything like they were planned, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a lesson will just seem to tank from out of nowhere, and although I think it is good to try and learn something from it, I can’t stay hung up on it any longer than it takes to try and figure out what to do different next time.
To be honest, I didn’t really like the “Let Care Shine Through” article. I thought there were a few good points like how to boost a student’s self esteem, that is content with average, and “don’t let deficit-based thinking infect…” (Bondy, 2016) I got hung up on the part about a social injustice and repaying an education debt owed to historically underserved people. These sorts of statements make me defensive, because I don’t feel as though I owe anyone anything, and I don’t think anyone owes me anything regardless of where I come from or where they come from. I would like to think that we will all earn what we get. I have absolutely nothing to due with past injustices. That is exactly what they are – in the past – perpetrated by someone other than myself.
At this website there is a suggestion about a conflict corner as a way for students to resolve their own problems without coming to the teacher to tattle. Basically, in order to tattle, they need to have first tried to resolve the issue on their own through a pre determined set of steps. I like it in theory. I have a third grade boy and fifth grade girl who demand a significant portion of my time going back and forth.