I’m amazed at how fast it went by! I can tell I’m getting in “teacher-shape.” My back didn’t hurt as much this week. My feet too! My vocal chords must be strengthening, because they are fine. My mental and emotional assets are learning to endure and go the distance! Training and conditioning of any kind, pays off and strengthens…but it hurts at first!
Something I’m thinking out loud about…
I am delighted to be a teacher. Last Sunday night…I was excited for Monday to come! Now…maybe I’m just in a “honeymoon” phase of teaching and this joy/excitement is going to fade. I’ll let you know in a couple of months! 🙂 I’m betting the joy doesn’t fade!
I am thinking that burnout is not from doing too much of something you love…it might be doing too much of something you actually think you love.
This week caused me to reflect about some of my teachers (when I was a student).
Most of my teachers, when I was young and in school, were good people who seemed to be passionate about teaching and also loved students. Some of my teachers seemed to have a disdain for us. This type always confused me. Why would someone be a teacher if they don’t like students?
It makes no sense to me for a teacher to not like his/her students. That would be like a minister not liking people. It would be like a football coach not liking his players. It would be like a race car driver who hates speed, or a dog groomer who hates dogs. 🙂
It is very clear to me that I love the students I get to teach everyday in Room 1501. I think they sense how much I love them. I am always excited when the door opens and the next group of students come pouring in.
As I said in the last post…When Rm 1501 students come walking through the door…they don’t have to say a word, I can tell what kind of a night, and day, they are having. Some students eyes never lift from the ground as they sit down and sigh…defeated. Some come in full of energy and orneriness…a spark in their eye, laughter in their heart! Some come in faithfully disciplined, ready for whatever Rm 1501 throws at them. A few come in, not really caring about school, but willing to give me a chance. And as anywhere, there are always a few couples who walk in together…in love. These couples always make me smile. Young love is fun. On occasion when these young couples come in, I will begin singing… “Love is in the air…everywhere I look around.” Their responses to me singing are quite mixed! LOL 🙂
As a teacher I have found great purpose and joy in empathizing and eagerly embracing the things the Rm 1501 students embrace at Joy Christian High School. I love the challenge of meeting them on their turf…I try to join them…put myself in their shoes, in their mentality, and then creatively and passionately strive to take them and elevate them to a higher and more purposeful level. I try to get them to make sense of anything they are dealing with and face it with purpose and strength.
I especially love to approach the students… the one’s whose eyes never leave the ground when they enter…and have them leave Rm 1501 with a spark in their eye, and a smile on their face! To accomplish this, I think you have to truly care…and you have to be very smart in approaching them.
I’m learning that the students who push me away are the ones who really want me closer. They’re just afraid. These kind are so tired of being hurt. When I think of these types…I think I can feel how our Father in Heaven feels about us. It is an incredible sense of love and compassion, followed up with a desire for those whose hearts have been broken…who feel nothing but cold and anger and fear… to get to a point where they know safe and holy love and acceptance and joy. A sense of belonging. A sense of being wanted.
You don’t have to be a teacher to do this! You can do it everyday in whatever your profession is. Just start looking for the people I’m talking about. They are all around you. Tomorrow…open your eyes and begin the process of working with God to return hope to those who gave up trying to be loved a long time ago. Joining God in this kind of thing will bring new vigor to your daily profession. New purpose.
I’m learning, as a new teacher, that I can never take teaching the students in Rm 1501, as an obligation. If you and I choose to take our profession as an obligation…as a kind of necessary sort of evil…then you and I will soon be overwhelmed. Life…even the sucky parts…are a privilege.
I am learning that Teaching is a privilege.
Whether or not you are a professional teacher…you are still a teacher. Recognize the privilege and you will live life, tired, but full.
10 things I learned this week in Rm 1501…
1. If someone is breaking a rule of any kind…my silence, is actually permission.
2. I don’t have to be demanding and “stick my chest out” with a student that is breaking a rule to get them to stop breaking the rule.
3. GOOD teachers can make students follow the rules.
4. GREAT teachers will get the students to understand why the rule exists and get them to want to follow it.
5. I can be a GOOD teacher if I only teach. I can be a GREAT teacher when I learn and teach simultaneously.
6. Taking a test is more fun than Grading 100 + tests! 🙂
7. Getting students, in the final hour of the day, to learn at the same level as the students in the hours before them…is a true challenge!
8. If you try to talk over a room full of noisy students…it will only amount to more noise. 🙂
9. Students…just like you and me…love it when you remember their name.
10. I really love being a teacher at Joy Christian School.