As the first week of the 2018 - 2019 school year is finishing and I think back to what I have accomplished as a teacher this week. I would have to say not much. At least not much in the way of teaching science content. This week has been about getting to know the new kids and getting to (re)know the old ones. In my 6th-grade advisory class, we have set goals for the quarter (my goal is to have a weekly average of 10,000 steps). The students in my advisory are hard working and eager. I am excited to be able to see the start of their journey as upper school students. In physical science and biology, students worked to set classroom norms. Some of these included keeping the room at a warm temperature, having fun in class, and having an open mind. The kids worked to together, engaged in some discussion, and made posters to keep their class norms insight and on their minds. While the science teacher in me is ready to get into the lab and to get started on some serious science, building relationships and a positive class culture will help to ensure we have a great school year. In Rita Pierson's TED Talk she stated: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like." I have no false illusions that every student I teach will like me. Yet, I do strive for my classroom to be a safe place for every student. I look at the first week (or so) of school as a time to start to forge those relationships with students. To let them see that although I may not be their favorite person I am a person who has their best interest at heart, and most importantly I care about each and every student I encounter throughout the day as not just a student but as a person.
This summer while in Prague I was asked by a professor to write a TED Talk style piece on the reason I teach. I enjoy teaching, but I had a difficult time finding anything of importance to say about the things that keep me showing up to school each and every day (outside of the things that all teacher say: love for the students, seeing the light bulb of understanding going off, etc.). I wrote a few drafts, but none of them seemed anything more than recycled cliches. During my hour long commute to class on the day, the assignment was due I was still unsatisfied with my talk. I thought about who I really am as a person and the impact that has on how and why I teach. The video below is the result of that Friday bus ride.
A teacher from the United States of America, currently teaching abroad. I teach science to middle and high school students. I enjoy reading and doing nerd things.