I Felt Like a Real Teacher!

Friday was a good day at school.  I was exhausted, as I am at the end of every week, but I experienced something wonderful.  For a brief moment, I felt like a real teacher.  This may sound a bit crazy, as I am paid to teach a class of 22 wonderful third and fourth graders on a daily basis, but during your first year of teaching, it's difficult to feel like a "real teacher" when more often you feel like you have no clue what you are doing.

That said, currently we are working on Feature Articles in writing.  Although I love to write, teaching writing has been an entirely different animal.  Yet Friday I felt myself take a shift in my teaching.  The night before, I had diligently looked over the students' work.  I had something I was excited to share with them that I thought would help their writing become stronger.  So the next day, when Writing Workshop came around, I enthusiastically told them how proud I was of how they are growing as writers, and how a certain strategy would help them take their writing to the next level.  It's not that I shared anything incredibly profound.  It's that I was really excited about it.  And they could tell.  In turn, the kids were excited as well.  When I sent them to go write, the majority of them were eager for my help, really wanting to try the new strategy.  This is what I have been waiting for...children who are excited to learn!!!

While really wonderful, this was still not the best moment.  That came later, when we returned from an assembly, and one student said, "Are we doing writing?"  When I said no, she quickly responded with a disappointed sigh and said, "Awww."  I was thrilled.  I felt like a real teacher.  Even more, I felt like I was finally stepping into the role God intended for me at that school in the first place.  It's amazing how such a simple circumstance can become such a huge motivator.  I learned a powerful lesson that day.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  I feel like I've always known this...but God certainly knew I needed to experience it like this in order to truly grasp it.  Our students and kids reflect whatever we communicate to them.  If we hate broccoli, there's a good chance they'll hate broccoli.  If we have a bad attitude and a sarcastic tongue, these hurtful attributes will probably be reflected back to us.  If we are overwhelmed and unwilling to work hard at something difficult, there's a good chance they will be unwilling too.

So I am excited to bring enthusiasm even more into my classroom.  I want the children to notice this before they ever notice I am overwhelmed or unsure of myself.  I have something to share, and when I care about it, they just might too.

That being said, the following picture depicts how my Saturday was spent, fostering this newfound motivation, along with some serious time with God, and progress on my "read through the Bible in 90 days" goal.  Which, by the way, is an awesome experience so far.  Reading the Bible as the amazing story that it is, from cover to cover, can have a profound effect on how you see and know God.  At least for me, it has shed  awesome new light on stories I have read or heard about many times before.

What can you get excited about that might inspire someone today?

(P.S.  After one whole week, my desk is still clean!!!  Loving it!)

1 comment:

cait said...

Oh you are so right about enthusiasm being contagious! As difficult as it is to get excited about certain things during the day...it is so important! Glad you had that moment where you felt like a "real teacher"! There will be so many more to come....especially the second year. ;)