K: Today marks the first day of school! I’m excited to share a few pictures of my classroom because it’s where I spend the majority of my day! Decor is really important to me, despite teaching at the high school level and I still want my students to feel welcomed and at home in my room. I’ve had the turquoise and green color scheme since I started teaching (this is my third year now) and even though my room is simple, it’s amazing what a pop of color will do to make it feel more put together.
Additionally today, I wanted to share a few reflections that I’ve had over the past few days and weeks as the school year comes to a start. I get a little sentimental at this time of year, mostly because I just love it so much and am excited about all of the wonderful things that will take place in my classroom. I’ll go ahead and apologize for the length of my “essay” below, but I am an English teacher, after all! Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or just let me know what you think!
Reflections on Being a Teacher
“What do you do for a living?”
Everyone is probably asked this question, multiple times in their life. I always pause before I give my answer because there’s so much that I could say. I manage to give the simplistic response of, “I’m an English teacher” every single time. However, I feel as though more of an explanation is needed for anyone to be able to understand my career and the ins and outs of a job that most people would dub as “easy.” Spoiler alert: we don’t just drink coffee and call it a day at 3:00…
What do I do for a living? I form leaders. I challenge students in more ways than one. Not only to be better readers and writers, but better citizens, better friends, better human beings. I make students think about their choices and the consequences that accompany them. Whether it’s the choice to complete an assignment, or the choice of which college to attend the next year, I require greatness and effort, because my students are more than capable of exceeding expectations and accomplishing great things. I force them to think about the world in which they live. Not only that, but I ask them to contemplate the ways in which we can make it better.
I am blessed to spend five days a week with the brightest and most energetic bunch of seniors. These high school students influence me every single day with witty thoughts, innovative ideas, kind words, and ultimately give me hope for the future.
Although I’m only on my third year teaching, I’ve witnessed the most incredible things from these teenagers. I’ve seen wallflowers become vibrant and vivacious. I’ve seen know-it-alls become humbled at the amount that they do not know. I’ve seen relationships begin, end, and transform. I’ve seen what a difference a smile can make and just how important friendship is. I’ve seen the bad things too: the lies to my face, cheating, deception, and ugliness. I’ve seen students who are dealing with poverty, privilege, academic pressure, life-threatening health issues, broken homes, and bad relationships. But through the bad, the positive days always outshine the negative.
Like any job, some days can be tough (I hate giving tests just as much as they hate taking them). This doesn’t take away from the fact that I have one of the best jobs in the world. I feel immensely blessed to teach and influence these wonderful students. They truly astound me. To everyone who thinks the younger generation is hopeless…let me tell you that is not true. The younger generation is passionate, intelligent, caring, tolerant, and unique. They are full of hope and new ideas on how the world should be. I am humbled to be near them and experience life with them. I may be a teacher, but I find that my students are the ones who teach me every single day.