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Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Moments: Back to School Memories

[source. Beautiful work, eh?!]


You know, I can never sort, purge, and pack my things without getting sidetracked by my books and mementos. I have great intentions of staying focused on the task at hand, and just "gettin' her done"--when, invariably, my eye falls upon a photo I haven't seen in a while, or a quick read of a backcover becomes several chapters.

I did quite well yesterday, but today...well, it was the yearbooks from my teaching years at NH and the year I filled in at BBA. I suppose with "back to school" advertisements, and the smell of Fall in the air {around here, anyway!} my mind is in the classroom.

I remember the first time I had to teach for one of my college classes. It was a math lesson to the 5th graders in the Academy. I don't remember the lesson, but I do remember being so nervous! My college teacher was wonderful and I got through it feeling a sense of accomplishment and a love for teaching. She was a no-nonsense type of person, who had a passion for learning and passing that passion to her students. She taught me a lot--well beyond what was found in the textbook. She was a great motivator who pushed us to push ourselves. She was understanding, kind, and fun. I took all of her classes and actually began developing a like for math and science! A great teacher and one I pattern some of my teaching methods.

There were other lessons I taught to the different grades, but the next biggest, challenging, and most rewarding was student teaching. I got the 5/6th graders which was my dream age group. Ah, I just loved it. There were plenty of lessons I had to learn, and some took me a while, but the students and my adviser were patient and kind. My biggest regret was working that semester. I felt like I was giving the children just half my attention. I would come to class just a couple minutes before I had to teach, and leave when the lesson was over. I wanted to be able to answer their questions, talk with them, and get to know the "real" them. It wasn't till a couple months into the semester, that it occurred to me to ask my boss for a shift change. I noticed a huge change after that and by the end of the year, felt like those kids had become my students in every essence. I loved teaching math, history, and English. I loved trying to make these subjects come alive for the students. I loved seeing their reports, projects, and grades improve throughout the semester. I loved watching them grow.

I hope I was an inspiration to them, even in just a small way, just as they were for me. Just as my own teachers were during my school days and the ones I like to pattern my teaching methods after.

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