School starts two weeks from today. That leaves the beginning of this week to finish up classroom setup and the end of the week is left to New Teacher Orientation. Next week start Durham Public Schools teacher workdays, and I have Open House next Thursday. Then, before I know it, it’s going to be the first day of school.
Now normally I’m not a morning blogger — I seem to usually have these profound thoughts at night. Despite my morning blogging, I thought of all of this stuff last night and physically wrote it down in a notebook (because I’m old school like that and still use notebooks and pens).
I had this nightmare the other night that I got to the first day of school and didn’t know what to do — basically, I was wingin’ it on my first day, and if you know me, you know that is NOT me. I was making stuff up on the fly and figuring out my behavior management system right in front of the kids. It was TERRIFYING. So, in order to combat these terrible dreams, I decided to grab an old book off of my shelf.
Learning to Teach.
Okay, so I’m going to be honest, I didn’t read a lot of stuff when I was in college, this book included. I had this book for my EDUC 412 class with Dr. Bolick, and our class consisted of learning about various teaching styles and behavior management. Looking back, I wish I would have maybe paid more attention to the readings, but I didn’t find it quite relevant at that point of my education career. I was perusing the book last night to look for a chapter or two about different styles of classroom/behavior management, and when I turned to the first chapter there was a question:
What kind of teacher do you want to be?
It listed various kinds of teachers, everything from “strict” to “lax.” Then, it posed that very question. I sat in bed and really thought about that. What kind of teacher DO I want to be?
I want to be both strict and compassionate. I want to foster a safe and comfortable learning environment for my students. I want them to trust me. I want them to “be good” because they want to “be good,” not just because an adult says so. I want to teach my students to be independent learners who love gaining knowledge. I want to be understanding. I want to cultivate their creativity. I want to introduce them to what quality music really is. I want my students to feel at ease when asking questions. I want to be approachable. I want to be patient. I want to be positive. I want to use encouragement as a motivator. I want to truly teach these kids something so that it sticks with them forever, not so they forget it after they take their standardized multiple choice test. I want to show these kids their ultimate potential. I want to give them opportunities they never knew they’d have.
I want to inspire.
Here’s to hoping I can do those things this year as A28’s third grade teacher.