29 September 2014

Becoming me...

Day 29 - Reflective Teacher Blogging Challenge

How have you changed as an educator since you first started?

Here's another one of these prompts that you think you'll be able to answer easily but then you're forced to really evaluate your career.  

I have been teaching for 15 years now and I'd like to think that I have become "seasoned" and "evolved."  When I think back to my first years, I think I had a difficult time because I walked into the job with the expectation that : 1.  I was the supreme know-it-all in the classroom. 2.  my students would be performing at a certain level 3. My students would automatically respect me and want to learn.  In the first few weeks, my bubble was burst and I was left feeling dejected, a bit of a failure and less than perfect.  It was in part due to my unrealistic expectations and in part due to the fact that students knowing you are a brand new teacher will go to the ends of the universe to push your buttons and test you, driving you nuts (or out of the profession!)

I held on because I am not a quitter and I realized (after some reflection) that I had a lot to learn if I wanted to become the educator that I am today but that it was not unattainable.  I realized that the first thing I needed to do was to set my expectations for both my students as well as myself within reach.  I learned that I could even admit to myself and my students that I did not know everything.  I found better ways to present lessons by talking with colleagues and asking for help.  I explored, studied and researched.  I learned that I needed to be true to who I am and find my "teacher voice."  I learned that I needed to have more patience and how to draw a line between friend and teacher- being loved is great but being a great educator is even better.

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