Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. I loved all my education classes at BYU and just got more and more excited to teach. During my internship, I learned that it was far, far, far harder that I ever expected, but, I also learned that I loved it more than I ever thought possible.
I felt comfortable teaching. I am still a new teacher, and know that I have miles to go in both curriculum and management, but I felt like my right place in the front of the classroom. That was the reason I worked part-time with a brand-new baby. It is a part of my soul that I couldn’t just leave behind.
Just after my very first month ever of teaching, I wrote this post.
So, after three years of teaching and on my very last day as an employee until who knows when, I thought I’d share with you all the things I will miss about teaching.
My Charter School
– The fact that my first year there (technically my first year as a licensed teacher), I was welcomed with open arms, and not treated as a new, young, inexperienced teacher by the staff. I was one of them.
– The community of the school. Although there are some downfalls to having such a small school, there are also upsides: students are more willing to work in different groups, there isn’t a stigma about teachers driving students home, parents and teachers are one and the same sometime, many are in the same church congregations, and teachers and parents know each other well.
– The focus on service. The day before Christmas break, the entire school does a canned food drive as well as make journals and gather dolls for homeless children. We had a student recently die of cancer and there were many assemblies and fundrasing for her. The students help keep the school neat and tidy and help set up for assemblies.
– The high standards of academics. We push our students and they are more than prepared for high school.
– My principal and boss. She is the sweetest, kindest, most brilliant woman I’ve ever met. She knows the name, face, family, personality, and strengths/weaknesses of each and every one of our 530 students!
– The unity. The entire school uses the same classroom management, standards, benchmarks, etc.
– Watching the lightbulb go on over their heads as they make connections with the literature, realize what words come from their Latin Roots, and realize they automatically supported their thesis with textual evidence.
– Watching the growth and progress of students, and watching them grow-up.
– Conversations with students on music, movies, videogames, BBC shows, comics, anime, etc.
– Conversations with teachers on parenthood, English, history, comics, movies, religion, etc.
– Continually learning. I get to read new books, learn more history, discover for myself before helping my students discover.
– Being creative. I loved coming up with different activities and projects for my students. And I love seeing my students’ creativity shine in their assignments.
– Seeing parents tear up and show faces of pure joy when they see how much their student likes my class and tries their best to learn.
– Being liked. I’ll be honest. Yesterday, when my picture would come up during the Jr. High end-of-year slide show, there were a lot of cheers. I’ll miss that. Students I’ve never taught say hi to me in the hall and like talking with me. I’ll miss that attention. (I think it’s because I’m probably the same age as their older siblings. I mean, my youngest sister just finished 9th grade this year!)
– Feeling useful. I teach for the outcome, not for the income. I am helping these students be prepared for not only high school and college, but for the world.
I have no idea when I’ll go back to teaching. I know where I am supposed to be for now is at home with my son. Since it is summer, and teachers have those off, I don’t think it’ll really hit me until late August/early September that I’m not returning to my classroom. I’ve had a good experience these three years: public and charter schools, history and English, big and small class sizes, and all sorts of other experiences. I know those memories and lessons will stay with me my entire life.
But, starting today at 10 am MST, I will officially be a SAHM, and that is an adventure I’m excited to begin.