I am a primary teacher who has been teaching for more than 10 years. I enjoy working with younger students and love the enthusiasm that they bring to school. I have been teaching grade one for a while and at times have found this challenging as well as rewarding. I am considering teaching grade two if the opportunity arises to gain new experience and to simply have a change. I particularly enjoy teaching reading and writing and love seeing a love of literature grow within students. I love music and use it in my classroom daily in a variety of ways. I feel most connected and affirmed as a teacher when I see that students are excited, enthused and eager to begin the task at hand. When I see that they are taking ownership for their learning, expressing themselves, and making choices either individually or in groups I feel that I am doing a worthwhile job. Having a high standard for learning is important to me and I strive to teach the curriculum in meaningful ways. I use a variety of assessment tools in order to see if my teaching is effective and whether the kids are learning. I am always seeking growth as a teacher and I dialogue with colleagues and share ideas in order to improve my teaching practice. I consider myself to be a very empathetic person and a very caring person and I strive to let my students know how unique and special they are. I also strive to encourage them to be caring and considerate of others. It is most important to me that students feel good about themselves and about the way they treat others.
I tend to put a lot of time into lesson planning, particularly when I am teaching something new or trying out a new technique. It is not unusual for me to stay at school until 10:45 at night planning a perfect lesson for the next day. I would stay longer if it weren’t for the custodian kicking me out. After having spent one of these late nights at work, I will wake up the next day feeling tired, but feeling excited about seeing my “perfect” lesson come to fruition. Sometimes these lessons go off without a hitch, no interruptions, no distractions, just me, the students, and my perfect lesson. Other times, by lunch I am feeling deflated and exhausted because the lesson I worked so hard on either fell flat or completely flopped. At times like this I have asked myself how could a lesson go wrong when I have spent so much time planning it and what kind of teacher am I to have failed? It leaves me calling my competency into question as a teacher. In my teaching I encourage students to view their mistakes as opportunities to learn but yet in my own practice I have a tendency to view my mistakes as failures. This is an area where I can see I need to grow. Sometimes I have viewed my desire to rework my lessons and approaches in a way that means my lessons have been deficient or have been failures. Instead, I need to view change as important and a sign of growth. Brooksfield has said, “It is in the reflective process for us to be always changing and evolving.” I appreciate this perspective on things and take comfort knowing that by reworking my lessons I am not having failures but am being reflective as a teacher.
Sometimes I feel anxiety that I am not reaching my students enough who are on the ends of the academic spectrum – either low or high. I worry that my lessons are not doing enough to reach them. At these times I find talking with other colleagues about their strategies for reaching these learners beneficial.
I admire teachers who are organized and keep their desks clean. I am usually an organized person but often by the end of the day my desk is full of papers, show and tell items, science props, pictures from students, etc ,and looks simply a mess. I don’t know how other teachers keep their desks so clean. At the end of the day, I tidy it up, often only to repeat the process the next day. I can readily find things I need however and it is an organized chaos, but I wish that somehow I knew the secret for a clutter free desk! I know that in the grand scheme of things this is certainly not the most important thing going on in my classroom, but is one that I strive to achieve, none the less!
I admire diplomatic teachers who keep their voices calm and speak to the students with honesty and respect. I admire teachers who have classrooms where students feel comfortable engaging in dialogue openly, in a way that helps their learning rather than interferes with it. I admire teachers who can look outside the main objectives of their lessons to see when real life learning opportunities arise and can easily adapt in their teaching to respect the learning that is taking place, even though it might not be the prescribed learning outcome they were intending to teach. I admire teachers who question students to encourage higher level thinking. I think this creates an interesting and dynamic place for learning. These are all things I strive to do in my classroom.
I take pride in knowing that I am a sensitive, caring, and kind-hearted teacher. I feel my classroom is a warm environment for students to spend their day and one that promotes an excitement for learning. I am a very hard working person and I feel that I am doing the best that I can. I always strive to be a better teacher.