It’s that time of year again, “Back to School”. The kids have been home for what seems like forever. July comes and the countdown begins. I am a mother of 3 wonderful children, who after 2 months of spending each and every day with each other and me, are at each others throats constantly, every day, every hour, every minute. It is enough to make a person go crazy. I have a new 3rd grader, 1st grader, and preschooler. I am a teacher, currently without a classroom or grade level to prepare for.
The big question: how do you cope with it all and not go completely out of your mind? Well at this point, truth be told, I feel like I am going a bit crazy. Too much time in a day and not enough fun things to keep everyone entertained. As a teacher, I do my best to add a little bit of structure to each day. This includes either reading or writing; which is a quiet activity and allows me to catch a few breathers from the kids. Then in the evenings, after everyone goes to bed, I find it relaxing and productive to enter the school line of thought and begin to prepare for the first day & week of school. Being that I am a new teacher, I don’t have a ton of resources at my disposal yet, so I create my own documents.
I have begun to envision what my classroom is going to look like and function once I have one. I think about what is important to cover, as soon as, the first day of school in order to ensure that the rest of the year flows smoothly. I have to decide what type of rules/guidelines that I will expect my students to follow. Policies and procedures are super important to any classroom management system. They let the students and the parents know right up front of what to expect and how things are going to be handled in the classroom. My management system for discipline within the classroom is Love & Logic. Since most students don’t come in the first day knowing what that means or looks like in my classroom, I have to teach it. Once the students get the system, we work together as a team for the rest of the year reinforcing the values of Love & Logic.
Being a teacher is a great responsibility that effects the lives of the students and parents that we work with. Teaching is so much more then get up in front of a group of 30 students and teaching math, science, social studies, reading, and writing.
It’s about building the relationship with the students and the parents, in order to reach each child at their level.
It’s about working with the parents to create a new generation of leaders.
It’s catching students on an off day and encouraging them not to quit.
It’s instilling in them the value of learning.
It’s motivating them on a daily basis to want to succeed.
I have worked with students who come from very tough situations. School is their safe zone, their safety net and they depend on you to read between the lines. They need so much more then academics. They need self-worth, self-preservation, confidence, motivation, and sometimes just a friend. Teaching should NEVER be taken for granted. Just ask the spouse or close friend of any teacher and I’m sure they will tell you it’s not for the weak. It takes hours and hours of planning, preparing, implementing, backtracking, re-teaching, progress monitoring, grading, etc. I am proud to call myself a teacher and I look forward to working with my students, their parents, and the community to help each student reach their full potential of learning.