Thanks to Student Teachers
If you have never had the pleasure of opening up your classroom to a student teacher, I highly recommend that you consider doing so. I just finished my tenth year in the same first grade classroom and I had never had a student teacher until last year. I had considered opening my classroom doors to a college student many times before but I worried that I wasn't good enough, I didn't know if what I had to share would be helpful to someone, if I could give up control of my students, if I could dole out constructive criticism without feeling like a jerk, if I could relax and still be my goofy self with someone in the room? I still wonder if I would have ever made the choice to ask for a student teacher- so lucky for me, I had my first one sort of end up in my doorway without even having to make that decision for myself.
"-This is a difficult career path, but often times, you will get more satisfaction out of your job in one day then most feel over a lifetime.
-Your classroom is yours to own with your students that year. It is a home away from home for you all. Make it so. Learn to peacefully and respectfully coexist, make it a place of joy and laughter, of discovery and learning.
-Lean on other teachers for support and to exchange knowledge, or it will be easy to feel isolated and become stagnant. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help. Discuss you worries and fears. You will find that even seasoned teachers do the same. This helps to keep us in our classrooms for so long and still be productive.
-Forgive yourself the times when you are grumpy or short tempered. We are only human and as long as you treat your students with respect on a daily basis and apologize, they will forgive you. These kinds of days will teach you humility.
-You will feel physically and emotionally exhausted and empty more times then not. But one hug, one small triumph, that to most people would seem insignificant, will fill you right back up again.
-You will have to deal with tears, runny noses, bathroom accidents and the occasional vomiting, but the hugs, smiles, giggles, oooh’s, aah’s and squeals of delight happen with far more frequency.
-Stand up, speak out, and be heard. Remember, you bring new and fresh ideas to your school community- let them be heard!
-Some of your students’ parents will disappoint you beyond belief, but most will try to do better for their children then they had for themselves. Remember, you never know where someone has been, or where they are, until you have walked in their shoes.
-You will not automatically be overwhelmed with love for every child that walks through your classroom door. It might take some time, but you will learn to find something about each child that is special.
-You will have kids that will haunt your memory. You will wonder, even as years have passed, “Did I do enough… are they ok… are they still struggling?” These are the children that will challenge you to do your very best each day. They will also help your heart grow to accommodate even more patience, strength and love.
-You will have days when nothing goes right with your students. When the paperwork and other responsibilities make you feel overworked and disillusioned. You will wonder if you are making a difference. I promise you that you are.