I found both articles to be rather interesting and particularly relevant to my current situation. The past two weeks, I have been struggling with two of the students in my first period class. Both of these students repeatedly avoid doing work in class and leave their seats to go and sit by their friends. Last week, my mentor teacher was absent, so I was in charge of this class for two days. During this time, one of these students called me “annoying’ when I told him to return to his group, and the other student blatantly refused to do his classwork by saying, “I am not going to do this today. I’ll do it at home’. I elected not to send either of these students to the office because they are both already struggling significantly in this class, and I did not want to make them dislike English/Language Arts more than they already do. Also, I realize that their anger likely has more to do with their feelings towards the subject and their ability to do well in the class more than it has to do with their feelings about me. Despite knowing all of this, I still went home that day feeling quite dejected.
These articles helped alleviate some of the negative feelings that I have been having towards these students, myself, and the teaching profession as a whole since these events occurred. The article “Let Care Shine Through’ helped me to further understand the disconnect that I have been having with those students. I know that I care about these two boys, their wellbeing, and their overall success in the class, but that does not mean that they know. What seems like caring to me, likely seems like nagging/controlling behavior to them. This article has encouraged me to keep trying and keep caring but to try to show that I care in a way that makes sense to them. Likely, this will involve some one-on-one discussions with those students in which I can let them know that I expect them to do their work because I know that they are capable of doing this work, and I genuinely want them to reach the potential that I see in them.
The second article, “What I Wish my Professor Had Told Me’, helped me to release some of my negative feelings about the situation. This article reminded me of the reason I decided to become a teacher in the first place, and it helped me to remember that every teacher has tough days. After all, these were only two bad days. I still have the rest of the year to connect with those students and create positive relationships with both of them. I should not allow two bad days to completely discourage me from caring about those students and caring about my role as a classroom teacher.