It’s not easy, I know. My first year teaching, I had the daughter of my principal in my 8th grade English class. I think that is when I first broke out in hives. I knew that everything I said and did was being discussed at their dinner table each evening. It made me very conscientious about my lessons, my homework, my feedback, and my grading. I was a GREAT teacher that year.
The next year, I did not have any children of colleagues- to be perfectly honest, my teaching practices were not nearly as polished or exciting as that first year. I relaxed, my teaching relaxed, I did not become better- I became lazier. I am so ashamed to admit this, but I am sure there are others like me out there. Right?
Once I began teaching internationally, teachers’ kids were everywhere- in every class. I stepped up my game, but this time, for the RIGHT REASONS. I made sure that there was no room for error, no matter who was in my class. I worked really hard to build strong relationships with my students; I needed their trust, their respect, and their love – families were counting on me. Of course, I’m human, I had my fair share of struggles and “off” days- I learned and grew from them.
In the back of my mind, I began considering these 3 questions:
If my child was in this class…
- would they get it (purpose, instructions, feedback, assessments)?
- would they feel liked, loved, challenged, and happy?
- would they be getting the best effort from their teacher?
I am asking you to ask yourself these questions as often as possible,
if not every day of every year.
And to the teachers of my outspoken children- past, present, and future…
for putting up with us,
for putting up with them,
for giving your heart and soul to teaching and learning.
I would like to leave you with my favorite TED Talk from a truly inspiring teacher. Every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day 🙂