I am somebody. I was somebody when I came.
I will be a better somebody when I leave.
I am powerful and I am strong. I deserve my education that I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go.
- Rita Pierson
All my reflection led me to review the goals I set. The first was: Develop meaningful relationships with students to discover and highlight their strengths. Striving for this goal has truly taught me so many incredible things about teaching and students. For the longest time before this practicum, I've focused on other aspects of my teaching to improve and have overlooked the value and power of relationships with students. This practicum has opened my eyes to the importance of making connections first. After all, teachers teach students, not just subjects. This TED talk by Rita Pierson truly makes that point and I highly recommend it!
1) Always expect the good from students
There were so many times I felt so inexperienced, unskilled, and just terrified of my students. One day, minutes before the first bell, I left the classroom to use the washroom and kept the door unlocked. When I returned, I found a student lurking around my desk and was immediately thinking of the worst. I sent her to her desk and checked to see what she was up to... I found this sticky note on my textbook:
2) Always cherish moments with students
When I was about halfway through my practicum, I was definitely feeling the stress. I was overwhelmed with getting assignments in, getting through necessary material, marking, being away from home, and so much more. One day after class, two students came up to me and asked if they could come in at lunch for extra help with an assignment. At that time, I was so tired and just wanted a quiet break away from the classroom but I agreed. They came in at lunch... with their assignments finished, all ready to turn in. I was confused what help they needed. They plopped themselves in seats around my desk, pulled out their lunches, and just... spent time with me. They talked about their families, their plans after high school, their favorite activities, their most embarrassing moments... and I found myself smiling and laughing when I needed it the most. From this, I learned that students have just as much to give and every moment with them should be cherished.
3) Visit often because students remember
A month after my practicum ended, I went to visit the students and my Teacher Associate. It was about an hour and a half drive to get there and I was so nervous the whole way. I feared going there and not being remembered by the students. Of course, I was being silly but it was just something I was actually scared about. Moments after entering the building, I was spotted by a student I taught who threw me the biggest hug. We got caught up with what's been happening and I made my way around the school to see everyone. I ended up staying longer than expected... students were sharing their summer plans with me, showing me their most recent and brilliant English assignment, and reminding me of funny moments with them. It was amazing to see them again and I realize I've made an impact just as much as they've made one on me.
Thanks for reading this post! Feel free to leave a comment or subscribe to my blog via email notifications. Until next time!