As I sit here pondering how I am going to put into words the reflective question my school principal left us with today, I am actually procrastinating. I hate to grade papers. Third quarter progress reports go home Thursday and it is Tuesday night AND although I had 8 snow days I did not use them very wisely.
1. slept in each and every snow day
2. read 2 books
3. painted my living room and kitchen nook (that a lie, I kept my hubs company while he painted)
4. I washed the paint brushes and rollers
5. braved falling snow to run to the store for Pepsi
8. napped some more
9. surfed Facebook and Pinterest
10. thought about grading papers and writing lessons
Back to my reflection: The question was...What kind of legacy am I leaving behind in the hearts and minds of the students I touch. He then gave an example of two teachers with same subject, equal testing results, but different approaches to teaching, both excellent teachers. One was "old school" sit and get, straight laced, dot i's cross ts , the other was warm and fuzzy and very approachable.
I'd like to think I am a hard-nosed, get it done, no excuses, kind of teacher.
The reality is something different. I fall in love with my kids each and every year. I worry that they are not doing homework, I fret that it is my fault that they are not grasping the subject matter. I want to take them shopping when their clothes are too small, dirty, worn out! It bothers me when it is obvious that there are few boundaries for them. Students feel safe, secure, and loved when they have boundaries, clothes that fit, someone to make sure the homework is expected of them. I know that every situation is different, every home is different, every child is different, but I still try to fill that gap.
By making sure that my Stars know my expectations, understand that there are boundaries, and that it is okay to fail but it is NOT okay to simply not try. Students and parents, who are not my Stars hear my voice, see the way I interact with my students and label me as that hard-nosed, no nonsense teacher. "She's that mean teacher who yells all the time." "My student wouldn't excel in such a harsh environment"
But my students and parents, my Stars know I do it because I love them.
They walk in the second block because that's an expectation. I hold them to it because they expect me to. No homework is a color change. It is an expectation, a boundary if you will. A show of affection. I want them to be successful and hopefully, I am giving them not only the knowledge but the tools to be successful!
So what is my legacy?
I hope it is one of love and belief in self because I have loved and believed in each and every student I have taught!
Back to grading...