A few months ago, I wrote my first blog post on the civic engagement assignment that’s part of my Teaching for Social Justice education course. Today, I spent my second to last day in the sixth grade classroom I have started to call “my classroom.” Next Wednesday is the last day I will spend with “my” sixth graders, and I don’t even want to think about saying goodbye to them! Even though I’ve only spent a semester with these kids, I feel like I’ve gotten to know them all; each one has his or her own personality or quirk. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be a teacher and watch your students graduate, knowing you probably won’t see most of them ever again.
Over the course of the semester, I have been observing Mrs. Miller to (hopefully) pick up on teaching techniques that either work well in a classroom or do not. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that no two days as a teacher are the same. Some days the kids are full of energy and eager to learn, and other days it seems like a massive funk has settled over the entire student population. A teacher always has to be on his or her toes; if an activity isn’t working, a teacher has to have an alternative (and sometimes coming up with that alternative is done on the spot).
I guess I have always known that being a teacher won’t be easy, and spending time in Mrs. Miller’s sixth grade classroom has helped me realize just how difficult teaching can be at times. But no worries, the sixth graders have not scared me away from teaching! Someday I will have a room that I can call my classroom; a room where I won’t just be “playing teacher” but will actually be the teacher the students look to to learn.
Until next time,