Friday, September 9, 2011

Year 2: Week 1 - The Reminder

Thursday morning I woke up exhausted from going to bed too late and not being able to sleep well with too many things on my mind. Coming to school I had that “not enough sleep headache” and my eyes were not happy about having contact lenses in after such a sleepless night.

I got to school, did my morning routine and got ready to teach my first third grade class of the year. In my classroom, I tuned my guitar, put down name cards on the seats and still not fully awake, attempted to get my mind in a place that I could welcome this class to their first day of school that started right off with music.

“Mr. Tang would you like us to come in?” one of third grade teachers asked drawing my attention from the place on the floor I was staring at to the crowd of little people waiting patiently at the door.

 “No, have them line up, I’m going to come over and give them some directions,” I replied.

As I walked to the door and enthusiastically greeted the teacher I looked at the kids who were standing, perfectly silent looking up at me. Some of the students looked apprehensive, others looked excited but most had a look of wonder, waiting to find out what kind of teacher I was and what this school year had in store for them.

Then something happened. The pitch of my voice raised to third grade level, I started talking slower and my usual sarcasm melted away as I instructed these students through the lesson. That headache I mentioned completely disappeared and for forty minutes my class and I had a great time getting to know each other through music.

As the class left, the headache returned, my energy level dropped and I tried to figure out a way that I could have naptime.

In my school we talk a lot about being a responsive teacher. This is about adjusting in the moment to the needs of the students. It’s about being receptive, and truly open to the experience the students are having. If you do this, really work with your students in that moment then it can change you.

This is one of the things that makes teaching a joyous profession and well, honestly makes it possible to be a teacher. There’s a lot of things that get in the way of enjoying being a teacher and it truly is the kids that get you through the rough days and reminds you how much beautiful it is to share your life with children.

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