What do you wish you would have known?
Teaching is all about growth. It takes time and a lot of self-evaluation on a daily basis to learn how to improve.
I was involved in education as an aide and with the PTA, but as a teacher, I realized that I still needed to understand what makes a lesson plan click.
Teaching is trial and error and evaluation and realizing that you have to figure out what works.
It was a paradigm shift to understand that I don’t have to have perfection today.
What are you doing well as a teacher that you wish everyone else was doing?
I love my students and I think that’s the most critical component in teaching.
Even kids who are very naughty, I like to be a safe place for them. These kids might not love everything I love.
There are some teachers who love a lot of kids, but they don’t love all the kids.
I made a concerted effort. I had to choose to not be appalled at their behavior, not be repulsed when their personal behavior wasn’t where it should be.
I had to choose to love them through all of those teen challenges. It was a conscious decision; I had to choose to love them everyday.
I didn’t give them free license. It was interesting when they would come and apologize.
What are some ways you are making a difference in a classroom?
We had so much fun with Shakespeare because I shared my enthusiasm and excitement.
I think my excitement and sharing the passion helped them. We watched the plays before we read the plays. Did I make readers out of all of my students? Probably not. But did I make readers out of some of them? Yes!
This year we are going to do a weekly Shakespeare insult.
Vocabulary is a struggle so this can help them increase their skills.
My favorite one is from Much Ado About Nothing: “Scratching could not make it worse, a face such as yours.”
What are some of your favorite books?
This summer by favorite book was The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.
That’s a young adult novel that needs a sequel. That was a fun exploration of if you don’t think you have talents, but you really do.
Everything I read is now bent on helping students see their worth and their value.
I also read The Alchemist.
It’s kind of a fable about searching your life mission and finding your mission and being brave and courageous and embrace your true worth.
My third book is Chop Wood, Carry Water.
It’s a sports psychology book. It’s so good about living life with a purpose.