Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Teach Who we Are

Friday was my last day of my first placement. A large part of me was so glad to be done with it. Classrooms today are not the same as they were when I was in grade 4...a mere 15 years ago. There were 34 students in my class and many challenges. Autism, behavioural issues, ADHD, learning issues, ESL, and so many other problems undiagnosed. But, another part of me was heartbroken to be leaving these kids you formed a relationship with. They drive you nuts one second and make your heart melt in the next. Plus it's not exactly ego-boosting to have every little detail scrutinized by your associate teacher, however helpful they are trying to be.

Before we started our placement, we read an article called "We teach who we are." The title alone was daunting. We teach who we are? I'm not even sure who I am yet. Ah yes, the quarter-life crisis setting in. I'm FAR from perfect and can only hope the better qualities are the ones that I project on the kids. Students only need to know that the lesson you just gave was amazing and they learned a lot. They don't need to know that you were up until 2am finishing it because you decided to have a couple beers with your friends first. Or, that you had to google "pythagorean theorem" because you didn't remember what it was.

All in all it was a huge learning experience and worlds away from teaching overseas in Taiwan. I learned a lot about teaching, about myself - and I can only hope the kids learned something along the way! I now know, I have A LOT of patience, but not endless amounts. Flexibilty is key (mentally and physically!). And you must repeat everything, because basically, kids don't hear you the first 5 times. They're thinking about lunch, their crush, their friends, television, or anything else other than school.

So now I get to take a little break and go back to being a student.

"Whatcha eatin' there sport?"

"A apple"

I'm still waiting for the kids to bring me an apple.

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