Friday, March 18, 2011

Week 23: Trust

I was talking to a parent of one of my students today and she ended her conversation saying, “well, let us know if there is anything we can do to help, we completely trust you.” While this was a great thing to hear from a parent it was a reminder of one of the most challenging parts about being a teacher.
I’m not parent and all I know about what it means to be one is through my life experiences and what I’ve witnessed is pretty amazing. Parents put their hopes and their dream into their children. Children are often most important and precious parts of many people’s lives. There are things that people do for their children that they would never do for anybody else.

When parents bring their children to school, they are entrusting another person to take care of their child and play a significant role in helping them grow. That’s a huge amount and of trust and faith that a parent is putting into the teacher. While this is something that I never forget, sometimes it is overshadowed by the everyday bustle of being a teacher and the fact that teachers like myself have almost two hundred students.

You can never let a classroom become a see of faces. Behind each students is family member who is rooting for them, believing in them and often believing in you as a teacher and that you see their child as being just as special and just as important that they do. Is that unreasonable? No, it’s not, because every child deserves to be seen and treated as an individual.  And the bottom line is that I’m not a music teacher. I don’t teach music, I teach children music.

After talking to that parent this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was a parent of one of my students would I be satisfied with the care and attention the received? In most cases, I would say yes, but in some cases, I'm not sure.

I’m not doubting myself because I feel that I am acting carelessly, it’s just that I think I can do better to be there, really and truly be there for all of my students. How? I’m not sure right now. I feel pretty exhausted at the end of the week as I feel right now. Physically I’m tired but also my heart, the muscle of the care and love feels a little tired as well.

I don’t have answers but I’m trying and the fact that this weight of the trust that parents put in me motivates me to work harder and reflect on how I can be a better teacher is a sign that I am on the right path to one day becoming a great teacher.

To the parent I talked to this morning and all of the parents who have put their trust in me: Thank you. I feel blessed and honored to have had the privilege to work with your children. While I love the study of education, it would all be meaningless with the students. The meaning and joy that my students bring not only to my professional life but also my personal life is indescribable.

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