Reflective Teaching Blog Post #4
Recently I was challenged on Facebook to share three things I’m grateful for everyday for seven days. My immediate thought was the overwhelming gratitude I feel going to work everyday to do I job I not only believe in, but love. The challenge of this blog post is in deciding what it is I love most about teaching. In the spirit of openness I have been narrowing this down for quite a few days. Below are a few of the items that made my list of things I love about teaching.
- Collaboration with colleagues
- Laughter from students during author’s chair
- Spontaneous outbursts of discovery
- Talking to students at the end of the day while they wait on parents
- The morning whip around
- Mid afternoon dance breaks
- VTS discussions
- Book group conversations
- Jump rope and foursquare
- The 5th grade Heritage Project Museum Sharing
The list took a life of its own. Forced to pause in reflection at the end of page I realized what I probably knew all along. The thing I absolutely love MOST about teaching is all the layers of relationship required to do this job well. Relationships with students, parents, colleagues, university partners, community partners, artists, musicians, scientists, you get the point. Essentially what I love to do is design tasks that will create new relationships, deepen old relationships, change some relationships, and to help students build enough confidence to seek out the relationships of their choosing,
From the start, I knew teaching in isolation was not for me. Building the relationships essential to a successful practice began in my credential program. I sought out strong coaches. I looked for teachers whose practice I admired and asked questions about the things they did. Professional development led me to partnerships with university organizations and content specialists. Bay Area Writing Project and Mills Teacher Scholars provided spaces for critical conversations to deepen my thinking. My practice is supported foundationally by the brick and mortar of these relationships.
Then there are the relationships I foster with students. Daily I encourage students to be good citizens, conflict managers, and decent friends. I introduce them to ideas and create tasks that will deepen those relationships. I help them build relationships with writers and characters in books. I encourage students to not let stereotypes and fear stifle their ability to have multicultural and inclusive relationships.
When these relationships develop and thrive I feel the most alive, the strongest sense of passion and purpose. Every knew relationship makes me fall deeper in LOVE!