Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Connecting With Students

As I write this post I am working from home, and enjoy it most days. So what did I do before this? I was a substitute teacher for years. I enjoyed it so much that I will have my MOE soon and hopefully my own class. Well lately, I've been pondering if I was truly meant to be an educator, let's just say I'm at a cross road with only three classes to go. Well a couple of days ago, I ran into a student I had the pleasure of teaching for three months last year during a long term sub assignment. I'm pretty sure we would have all labeled him a trouble maker, fighting, other things not to be named...., constantly suspended etc... He ran up to me while he was with all his cool buds and about knocked me over with a hug. As I explain that I am not teaching or subbing right now, he gets angry with me. He say's "Mrs. H the students need you. You care, I needed you and I knew you cared, heck you even got me to do homework and I don't do homework. You took the time to get to know us and that is something we don't feel often, you talked about yourself and related to us, besides you are a total goof ball and totally cool, you made learning fun. Now go back to teaching would ya?" I was literally shocked he was so passionate in what he was saying.

Just when I was starting to think I shared too much of myself with students and that I needed to step back if I were to ever do this full time which is my every intention. I have been hurt just as a substitute teacher because I put my heart and soul into the kids which by the way, isn't always politically correct. I decide that this is who I am. Connecting with your students is what it is all about!

Thank you my wonderful student for reminding me that today's educators need to try to learn about our students, talk to our students, not just talk at them. That showing we are real people with real lives, and real emotions is not only OK with them, it is what they need sometimes. They need to see we are not perfect, we make mistakes. I will continue to be me, I will relate, I will be silly, I will tease on occasion, I will be real, and hopefully somewhere along the lines they will learn about technology too :) For an interesting read, check out "What Teenagers Want" by Anne Bromley.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Sometimes you never really know the impact you had on a student until years later. I've been contacted by former students who happened to find me through one of my websites and it's always gratifying and humbling to realize that you are so fondly remembered. Here's just one example.