Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last Day

Tomorrow is my last day of student teaching for the summer. It's crazy how in three short weeks, you learn so much about your students. It's crazy how often I think of them, long after the day is over and they've gone home. It's crazy how much I know about them, and all it takes is a willing heart and an open ear. I've been thinking a lot these past couple days, as my time with them draws to a close. As a teacher, one of the things I enjoy most is getting to know my students - what they like, what they don't like, how they work and interact with each other and with me, how many siblings they have, what their favorite color is, and all the little details. I see it in their writing, and I ask them questions, to probe deeper, to see a little better into their young but complicated lives. I thought all teachers would enjoy this process of getting to know their students - but I've realized, this is often not the case.

I won't go into that here, but I've really been challenged a lot in my time of student teaching. I guess I am a dreamer, and I idealized the teaching profession. I knew it was hard, but I guess through the program I would get to meet like-minded individuals who value children and who see unlimited potential in them as I do. To me, all the students I worked with these past 3 weeks, no matter what developmental challenges they may have, I've been able to find something positive and special in each child. I just finished writing them all a little note, and even though they're only in first grade and I've only known them for such a short time, I was surprised that I could pick out something special in each child, most of the time 2 or 3 specific things! I felt I didn't have enough space in each note to tell each child how wonderful they are. Sadly, that's not the case with some of the teachers I've met (not the people in my program - they are all wonderful!). While I'm sure they all love children to an extent... that curiosity and wanting to know their students as individuals just isn't there. I'm not saying that all teachers are like that - many teachers are truly wonderful and know their students well and I aspire to be like that when I really start teaching! But it's just sad when teachers view teaching as a job, and that's it.

I hope that even though my time with my students was short, that they felt love in the classroom. This sounds so cheesy, but I'm serious! If I even encouraged one child to try harder or to read more... then everything was worth it! :)


tiff pan said...

I like how you said: "I guess I'm a dreamer." I said that once in one of my past blogposts.: ) wow we're more alike than i thought. i know what you mean though, working or seeing teachers who don't have their heart in it besides the money. the teachers at A.E. this year are pretty bad; not only have they not properly graduated from college (one of them switched 3 or 4 schools, another is still taking par-time classes), but more importantly, they have quite a lazy attitude towards teaching properly. i got in trouble for one of the teacher's laziness; it's hard for me not to be angry at him but he's leaving after 2 more work days anyway.yeah.hang in there mello! i believe you can become a better teacher regardless of the circumstances!

Eunice Chen said...

hey mel,

i understand what you mean! i've experienced/seen a lot of jaded and burnt-out teachers during my student-teaching experience. it's very discouraging for a new teacher to see frustrated and cynical professional teachers. and sometimes they'll try to bring new teachers down. don't give in! the world needs more passionate teachers. =) reading your post about your love for your students puts a smile on my face. keep up the good work!