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Teacher Series: Loving the Unlovable

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.

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