Thursday, May 10, 2018
Thoughts on…being a teacher…
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I thought I would talk about being a teacher. It is a huge part of my identity and I thought maybe some would like to hear my thoughts. No offense if you skip today’s post and come back for Friday Favorites tomorrow!
My mom was a teacher, my aunt was a teacher, and my uncle was an administrator in a school. Now, I am a teacher and both of my sisters are teachers (elementary art and 2nd grade), my first cousin is an elementary teacher, and my brother in law is a middle school teacher. Guess what we talk about at family gatherings? You guessed it!
I think I first wanted to be a teacher in 2nd or 3rd grade. I have vivid memories of coming home from school (which I loved) and teaching my stuffed animals and dolls what I learned that day. My parents put up a giant chalkboard in the playroom. I played school with neighborhood kids and my sisters, as well. I remember being upset that at one neighbor girl’s house she was always the teacher and made me be the student! It was not as fun as being the teacher! You might say I’m a little bossy!
I think in 7th or 8th grade I gave up wanting to be a teacher in favor of a newspaper writer and later, after discovering my love for the Spanish language, I thought I would pursue foreign correspondence or international law. I started college with a double major in Spanish and political science but in sophomore year I decided to try an education class. I was hooked and decided to major in Spanish with a secondary education specialty. My education classes were interesting and I loved learning about the history of education in our country, development of the brain and how people learn, educational theory, and methods of teaching, among other things.
I landed my first real teaching job at age 22 in the summer after I graduated from college. Actually, I was in Mexico for two weeks on a mission trip when my mom took the call about my first job interview for my first teaching job! Boy, was my first year hard! Student teaching is great, but you are really thrown to the wolves when you start with your own classroom. I remember falling asleep at a Rolling Stones concert my first year of teaching. I was so tired! I also coached cheerleading, was soccer sponsor, sponsored a couple of other clubs and served on a couple of committees. Oh, the things we do to our first year teachers. I seriously worked until 10:00 every night. It was also interesting that I was only 4 years older than the seniors!
I remember the first time I signed a note with my “teacher name” with my “teacher signature”. I couldn’t believe I was really a teacher! I hope that I have never forgotten the enormous privilege and the enormous responsibility I have as a teacher. We can build kids up so much with our words and we can also hurt a kid forever with our words. I try to always be happy to see my students and I try to make learning as fun as possible, while still holding them to high standards.
I have learned so much through the years, but I have so much more to learn. And, if you made it this far in this blog post, you deserve an A!
What do you remember about your teachers and school? What do you think has changed since you were in school?
If you feel moved, send an email, Facebook message, letter to a teacher that influenced you. We love to hear from former students! Make sure you give some information like when you graduated, what class you took with them, and your maiden name. Remember they have had thousands of students possibly. But, I will say we remember most of our past students!
Thank you to all of my teachers and all of my kids’ teachers!