Thursday, October 18, 2012
Remembering to Make a Difference
I have spent the last two days filling up my brain with new knowledge about teaching. I learned about motivating students, new technology I can use, how to involve parents and guardians, and various other techniques to improve my teaching strategies. I am excited to implement new multimedia into my classroom and to increase attendance of my live lessons. I am excited to try new ways of motivating students to make the right choices in their education despite their many barriers. I am excited to work even more closely with my inclusion teacher in a more effective way that helps us be a team. However, I took home more than just helpful tools this week. I was reminded of a philosophy that sometimes gets pushed to the backs of our minds. As teachers, we are here to change lives, to teach students more than simply our subject matter. Our first keynote speaker, Steve Gilliland told a story about the 5 people in his life who have made the biggest difference, one being his 6th grade teacher. I remember the teachers who impacted my life and who made me want to do the same. Sometimes as teachers we get sucked in to our daily tasks. For me its grading, making PowerPoints, and trying to reach out to those reluctant students I have in my classroom. And sometimes they get lumped together and its call after call and answering machine after answering machine that I am speaking to. But Steve’s story reminded me that I want to be the teacher that students tell stories about later in life, long after they are no longer students. I want remind students that they CAN do it, and that someone believes in them. Though I have been learning about new tech programs and approaches I can use in my classroom, the fact is that none of this matters without remembering to make a difference. I can craft the most wonderful lessons and creative projects but at the end of the day I must always remember my purpose. I am a teacher and I am here to change lives. Every moment of extra time I take to learn about a student and talk on the phone about things that don’t always have to be about art class, every time I stop to appreciate a student’s work, or commend a student on working through a personal challenge, these are the moments that matter. My goal now as I move into the end of the first quarter of our school year is to marry my new knowledge of practical skills with my enduring passion for teaching to make my students successful not only in my class but in life.