Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why I Love Being a Teacher

Wait, Wait, Wait!!! Before you close this out of disgust expecting to hear about me laying under the sun on the beach...Yes it is easy to say "I love being a teacher" at the beginning of summer but, please hear me out.
I can honestly say that my current mindset is not "which tanning oil is best for achieving a Greek-like golden tone,"  but "how can I be better for my students in the upcoming year." 

That is the reason I love teaching, much more even than summer break. I love that I get a fresh shot at being the best teacher for my students every year. Maybe it is the lifelong Cleveland sports fan in me saying "next year is the year". And maybe this just speaks to my short comings and deficiencies as a teacher, but I'd like to think that I just want to be better for my kids. Believe me, I've had lessons and even units epically fail. I've had students that I know I didn't reach. To these failures I think I've found the answer! I will be better next year because of this solution! While I have lofty aspirations for the start of every new school year, I think I've discovered something foundational that will make this one great. 
Here it is...
My leading desire will be achieving a closeness with the students. More than curriculum, more than control or power, more than student academic growth. I aspire to be relational first. This was and is obviously the desire of Jesus and he was able to make miraculous progress with a pretty rough classroom. 
It's easy to state this as a mindset and leave it at that. Although to make the desired impact on the students it will need to be at the foundation of every decision I make this year. Lessons will revolve around inquire and self-reflection. Classroom management will be a shared responsibility, empowering students to recognize the importance of accountability. Even mundane tasks will carry a collaboration. Every person in the class will be a needed resource.
Now, how will I do this... 
and that is what the summer is for!   

Peace in the preparation