I'm sifting through my old lesson plans and students' sample work and skimming through my old papers and readings. It's only been a few months since I left teaching in the Bay, but I'm having some crazy nostalgia.
The heartwarming, positive, "this is why I teach" memories are nestled somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind. I gotta find 'em again.
It's been a minute since I've been in a classroom of 25+ students, not to mention a classroom of 25+ kids. I think I miss it. I think I'd even make a better teacher now than I did a few months ago due to some personal development more so than professional development. In my humble opinion, that's all part of being a good teacher.
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Every now and then, I remember one of my good friend's stories from back when we were in high school. Her dad had been bed ridden with cancer for almost as long as I had known her. Her family was at home one day when something happened with his heart or his lungs and she had to call 911. An ambulance came and paramedics rushed into her house.
My friend sat to the side, crying, panicking, and worrying over her father. One of the EMT people, rather than give medical attention to her father, sat with my friend and soothed her, telling her that they were doing everything they could do, that her father was going to be alright, that everything was going to be OK.
This story brings tears to my eyes not only because I hate to think of my friend going through that experience, but because I'm reminded of the humanity behind service professions. I'm sure that this kind stranger is trained for so much more than emotional support for family members of loved ones; such care may not have even been taught in his training. Regardless, people in ambulances rush to scenes to help people and in one way or another, he did just that.
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When I teach, I certainly want my students to walk away from my class having learned something. Obviously, that is the meat of my job description. Ultimately, though, when I think about the teachers who made (and continue to make) the biggest impact on my life, I think of teachers who talked to me outside of class about normal, every day things unrelated to the class material. I think about the teachers who lived great teachings about life; whose actions resounded for much longer than 50-minute lessons. I think about the teachers who brought an "x-factor" to the profession and who taught me more than books could ever teach me: how to be a sociable person; how to be a responsible person; how to dream big and share your dreams with others; how to overcome fears like stage fright and public speaking; how to find trends in history and current events; how to draw parallels from themes in literature to themes in my own life; how to develop and cultivate habits in reading, writing, and speaking; the list goes on.
I still want to be a good teacher. I'm still working on it. I'm young yet; finally being out in the "real world" has reminded me of that fact. For now, I'm practicing being an adult, showing up to work every day regardless of my feeling of preparedness, and taking things easy when things don't go exactly as planned.
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What are some talking points I should have ready for my informational interview? Hmm...
- I'm currently working on writing cohesive unit plans and solid learning objectives
- My weakest point is classroom management
- My biggest improvement is in narrowing lessons and knowing when to move the whole group along in the lesson and cover missed steps in future lessons
- What suggestions do you have for me in connecting with local middle and high schools?
- " " " " in continuing to work on my goals?
- In what area is your school currently hoping to improve?
- Does your school incorporate any lessons about social justice/global citizenship into its curricula?
I'll have to sleep on it and think of more...