Thursday, August 30, 2012

better every year.

There's no better way to put it. I'm simply falling in love with my class this year. They are joyful, enthusiastic, wide-eyed, and insanely eager to please. They are wonderful - and I am simply in love.
This feeling got me thinking about how each year is different. How every class has a "theme." Most importantly, how every class shapes who I am as a teacher... and makes me better.


Year 1 - my first class. Will always hold a special place in my heart. Walked in the first day and I immediately panicked (see My Very First Day). Taught me humility, taught me what it meant to be a role model, taught me that college really tells you *nothing* about what teaching is REALLY like. My first taste of success... my first inclination that I will love my career.
Year 2 - the class that taught me about classroom community - and classroom culture. Taught me about building rapport, trust, and respect. By the end of the year, I truly felt like we were a family. In the end, I learned that if you create a warm, empowering classroom community, everyday will be success. 
Year 3 - the class that challenged me. Everyday. Most likely due to the large size of the class, but this class had me pulling out every trick I had. And in turn, my collection of tricks grew immensely. This class taught me the importance of love - and turned me into a big softie. Being the teacher who usually stayed behind my professional wall, I found myself pushing swings, holding little ones on my lap, and getting my "hair done" when assemblies became too boring. It wasn't until 3/4 through the year that I realized just how much I had learned through this year. They may have challenged me everyday... but more importantly, they made me BETTER everyday. And I will forever be a more effective teacher because of this year.
Year 4 - I am still getting to know my students, and my class as a whole, but I can already tell some of the overarching themes for this year... easy, natural, loving, and eager. Everyday feels easy-going. And as much as I attribute it to my easy-going, darling students... I know part of it is because I am now a better teacher. 
I hope to never stop learning... to never stop reflecting. And I promise to NEVER stop loving what I do.

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