Reflective Teacher-November 12

This is a second post inspired by Teach Thought‘s November challenge. Read about it here.

Nov 12

Share a photo – or photos – of things / people you are grateful for.

My wonderful parents(both educators) who inspired me to teach.  They modeled what an educator does and how they think.

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My ever faithful husband that has moved TWICE for me.  He is a kind and loving father to our children.  He has sacrificed for my career and does it willingly.

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My two little red-heads that spend so much time laughing and learning.  They have helped me to understand what a parent needs from a teacher.  I want my students to be loved as much as I love my children.

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My brother and sister who have made me laugh and know me in ways that only a sibling can.

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 My dearest friend who when I announced that I was moving to Iowa, said “When do you need me?” and meant it.  She made the drive north less chaotic and enjoyable.  She is known to my son as “superfriend.”

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The only pictures I am missing are pictures of my school.  I have a wonderful job to help coach my principal and then watch and learn so much about what it takes to be a great principal.  I also get the chance to work with a professional staff that keeps the students at the forefront of the decisions they make.  Of course, I help coach students on the skills they need to be successful in life.

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Attitude of Graditude-November 11

I came across this inspired idea from Teach Thought on my Twitter feed.  During the month of November, Teach Thought shares a different prompt for teachers to reflect on each day.  Read about it here.

November 11

What is the most important ‘lesson’ you want to teach your students?

I feel the most important lesson I want to teach students is to keep going.  What does keep going mean?  It means that you do not stop because it gets hard.  It means that you keep trying when plan A does not work out.  This is not easy because if it was everyone would do that.

I model the attitude of keep going by acknowledging my mistakes and still continuing to complete the task. When my technology fails, I think out loud while solving the problem.  I use phrases like “Hmm…That didn’t work so let me try this.”  or “I know can solve this with some time.”

I find that if I do not continue because things get hard I am giving others permission to give up.  The difference between success or failure is the ability to continue on.

The other side of the table

This conference was my first as a parent and I had high hopes.  I arrived early and reviewed the materials posted, but I left disappointed and wanting more.

Let me back up, my son has spent the last 4 years making me feel like I had the answers to parenthood.  He had a wonderful in-home daycare provider that said she loved him and meant it.  He spent the past 4 years with the same group of loving boys.  In order to be closer to family, I moved my whole family to Iowa before my son entered preschool.

The teacher did an excellent job reviewing the data she collected, showing the work my son had completed and talking about his strengths.  I wish she would have talked more about the areas I needed to help with and had given me the steps to take.  I also wanted to know does he work hard, is he kind and does he have friends.

In addition to feeling sad about my experience, I left feeling that I had caused some of my former parents the same feeling of disappointment.  So to those parents:

  • I am sorry that I did not talk about your student’s work habits.
  • I am sorry that I did not share a moment when your student was kind to another student.
  • I am sorry that I did not talk about the joy I see in your child’s face when she gets it.
  • I am sorry that I did not share how your child lights up when…
  • I am sorry that I did not thank you for sharing your child with me this year.
  • I am sorry that I did not ask you more questions about your child.
  • I am sorry that I did not talk to you like you were an equal partner in your child’s learning.

To the parents of my future students, I will try my best to let you know that I care deeply about your child.  I know as I continue this journey as a parent/educator, I will have many more enlightening experiences.

Note: This is not meant as a commentary on my child’s teacher.