What I Love About Teaching
I was recently asked to respond to some questions about my teaching experiences for a local newspaper. Doing so made me realize just how long it had been since I had really reflected upon why I love what I do.
& so … if your were a fly on my classroom wall you would have seen me penning (ah! typing rather) the following responses to a few of the prompts that were placed before me.
1. What I love the most about teaching.
a) My students.
My students are amazing, and I love learning with them. Some of the best moments with my students are watching the joy of discovery. It’s wonderful to see children use their understanding of concepts and strategies, take risks and rise to any challenge.
b) There’s never a dull moment.
Teaching Grade 5 allows me to be very creative and teach a variety of subjects. In fact, there’s always something new. No two students, days, months or years are ever the same. Every class develops its own personality, which makes every year seem like quite a new experience.
c) My school
It really is a community.
2. Describe a class experience that makes teaching worthwhile:
It’s really the collective experience of the school year that makes teaching so rewarding. It’s being a part of the individual growth and development of each child, rather than any one thing or moment in time. It’s witnessing the natural curiosity, playfulness and remarkable uniqueness of every child who walks through my door that makes teaching so worthwhile.
3. What’s the best part about working with children:
The best part about working with children is getting to know my students as individuals and as a collective group. Understanding who they are helps to guide my programme and makes each year very special in its own way. My students really do inspire me, and they keep me on my toes!
A Parting Email to Parents:
Dear Grade 5 Parents,
Words cannot express how much I have enjoyed working with, teaching and learning from your children this year.
They are an exceptional and (as you will see from the attached video) inspirational group of young individuals.
The attached video is our parting gift to you from your children.
The idea was inspired by Daniel H. Pink’s “Two simple questions that can change your life in 2010” (http://www.danpink.com/archives/2010/01/2questionsvideo).
Allow me to provide some background information:
In Second Term the students were required to read and report on a biography of their choice. They were required to create a poster that included a picture and the necessary biographical information. They were also required to distill the individual’s entire life into one sentence — no easy feat. These projects have been posted on the bulletin board outside our classroom, and they are amazing.
In our third term, the students were required to come up with their own life sentence, and the results were very powerful.
Please note that when they wrote their sentences they did not have any additional input from me or from their peers. These are their “sentences” and I simply couldn’t be more proud.
I will be burning a disk for everyone and sending them home in the mail over the summer holidays. I did however, want you to have an opportunity to view the video as soon as possible, and so I have attached it here.
Have a wonderful summer!
As I cannot post a video of my students I wanted share some of their sentences here:
“He made a difference in the lives of others.”
“She made the world a better place when she found a cure for cancer.”
“He learned to like…but then he learned something better: to love.”
“She made the lives of others better one laugh at a time.”
“A girl who likes to be where the fun is.”
“A friend to all.”
“He’s always there for others.”