Monday, November 7, 2016

Kids Deserve It! Week 6: Chapters 16-18

The focus of these chapters tie in so well together. What is your favorite thing about teaching? What keeps you from stopping? And/or, how do you build and maintain relationships with your students?

Next week we will read and discuss chapters 19-21.

74 comments:

  1. While I am not teaching in a classroom any longer, I feel even as administrators we are still teaching lessons. Just different ones. I have to be out with the kids to keep those relationships going strong. The times I get bogged down in my office is the times I feel like I am losing my relationships with the kids. Building those relationships with the students is one of the most important things I can do. They need to know we care about them, for more than their test scores, classroom grades, state funding, etc. etc.

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    1. You make an excellent point! As these relationships are the necessary foundation to making everything else successful, this is the main reason why some of us react negatively or become frustrated when another mandate is added to our list. Time needed for mandates takes us away from maintaining relationships with kids. Building relationships is a continual process; needing more than the day one getting to know you activities. Great to read your view on the need for a caring environment for kids!

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  2. Much of my ability to press on has to do with my outlook. I choose to see the good and not to dwell on hurtful actions or difficult days. When something does bring me down, I am determined to go forward and make the next day a better day. I see so many people's hurts multiplied when they think too long about what is wrong and who has wronged them. I have greatly relied on my faith in God, faith in people I love, including some good friend colleagues who prop up one another; we have shared some good times, and we are still standing!

    It has taken me some time to learn that students who give me fits are struggling in many areas of their lives that have very little to do with my class. Rather than take personally some interactions with students, I must remember that they are in formative years trying to figure out a lot of life that is sometimes not their fault; likewise, when their problems are, indeed, based on their own poor decisions, they don’t know how to put the train back on the tracks and give up too easily.

    I appreciate chapter 18 because the authors acknowledge difficulties with an understanding very true to a teacher’s core:
    “Being an educator is exhausting, even deflating at times. And there are days we want to leave and not come back. But every day we return, we prove to them — the children whose stories make our hearts break — that we’re there for them.”
    (Nesloney, Todd; Welcome, Adam.)

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  3. The most difficult part of not being in the classroom anymore is missing that every day dynamic with students. As a technology coach, I luckily get to team teach quite often, and these days are by far my most fun! Building relationships in this role is different than in the classroom, but ultimately, the same ideas apply, and most of it has nothing to do with the topic discussed in class or the curriculum. If I see a student reading a book for pleasure, I stop to ask about it or to recommend another title I think he/she would like. Sometimes I bring in books from home to share. If I notice something positive, I always try to share that with the student, even if the student isn't someone I know well. I appreciate how welcoming teachers have been, inviting me to observe and just spend time in classrooms. Whenever I do have an opportunity to work with students, I try to give them a chance to ask questions about technology related topics, or I ask them for their feedback on the technology at our school. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't think about what it was like having my own students, so I know that I will always make an effort to stay as connected as I can.

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    1. Diana I'm sure you are making a difference. Probably more than you know. Each and every interaction with a child matters. You may not have your own classroom, but you have the entire school to interact with. I'm certain this awesome book has given you ideas and encouragement too.

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  4. Tonight answering this question about my favorite thing about teaching is tough. I totally agree with the comments on page 106 From Teachers especially the one, “I try my best each day, each week, each month, and each year to help every student grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Sometimes I feel like my best isn’t enough.” Today was one of those days! I am drained right now and feel like I’m being pulled in a thousand directions.
    I try to build and maintain relationships with my students by finding something positive in each one of them. I always try to give high fives to my students and lots of praise every day.

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    1. We all have days when we feel super drained. I hope today is a better day for you. Hang in there what you do does make a difference

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    2. Your honesty is appreciated. We are human and will not have perfect days every day. You stating that you are drained shows that you worked hard because you care. Because you are a caring is the reason why you teach.

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    3. I really appreciate this post. A friend of mine recently told me that I should take my own advice. I often tell my students that if you are making mistakes, it just means that you are trying. Being told to take my own advice actually helped.

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  5. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing students grasp a new concept and be able to apply it. I love it when they tell me how they use something they learned in class outside of class.
    To build relationships I try to make sure I take the time to put comments on papers, ask about their lives outside of class and smile

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    1. I never thought about the comments on papers. That's a great way to build relationships with the students and parents. I love to read comments on my own kids' papers. It may take a little extra time while grading, but it's all worth it!

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    2. That is my favorite part too! I love when you can see that "light bulb" go on! They have that sense of being proud and successful...it warms my heart and reminds me why I teach!

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    3. Love those "Ah-Ha" moments when the light bulb shines and the smiles cross thier faces!

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    4. I also love seeing my first year Spanish students have their first conversation in Spanish in class. They are very proud of themselves and I am also proud of them. They learn so much in such a short time...I love seeing them put it all together.

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  6. My favorite thing about teaching this year stems from one of my goals which is perfectly stated by Todd and Adam. "Get creative with your learning environment. Choose a place in which you would have wanted to learn as a kid." (loc 1236) Long story short, moving toward a student-led classroom (not the same as student centered), I discover more about what motivates students and more about their strengths and interests. Continually building and maintaining positive relationships is taking center stage, but will admit that there are a few that are making it a challenging process. Todd and Adam remind us that relationships are the "catalyst of our work". (loc 1260)

    The thing that keeps me coming back every year; or even every day, is the kids. All it takes to feel great about what we do is when they make a connection with their learning, being at the door on their way out (not just in), walking through the lunch room, or going to a game. Those kids sure know how to remind us why we chose to teach!

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    1. How do you implement a student-led classroom? I am very intrigued by this idea and I would love some ideas!

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    2. It is about letting go and giving students more control of their learning (more choice) and the classroom (more voice); creating over conforming. Paul Stolarz's book Learn Like a Pirate is a great way read for this type of learning environment. Examples would be letting students choose the political cartoon or meme that would best enhance understanding of a concept rather than the teacher. Let them teach the way to use technology app of the day for a task. Let them answer questions posed by someone in the class. They can even take control of some duties in the room like passing out papers, taking attendance, wrapping up the end of the day by restating what they learned and what their homework is. Twitter PLN for this is #LearnLAP

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  7. My favorite thing about teaching is probably running into a student that has since graduated and hearing all of the wonderful things they have accomplished. Often, they have a compliment for me that melt my heart. I hope to see most if not all of my students after graduation and hear how well they are doing, what their accomplishments have been, how I have helped them to grown into productive adults, and any suggestions that they have to make my class a more fun receptive place. What keeps me from stopping teaching? It is simple really; I care so immensely for each one of them! I care for the shy student that never raises their hand and I understand that it scares them to speak in front of the class so I talk with them on a more one on one basis. I care for the kid whose grades struggle because of a learning issue and try to taylor my plans to them. I care for the child who gets picked on because he doesn't have clean clothes or a fresh haircut by discussing with him how I can help and ask him to help me understand the struggles he faces at home. I care for the kid that is so busy with academics and sports that they fall asleep in my health class but doesn't mean to. “They are woken up lol” I care for the child who seems to have all of the answers and raises their hand at every chance to impress me or anyone else who is listening. I simply care about each personality and helping them grow too much to ever stop. I build and maintain relationships with kids in all sorts of different ways. Many times it just takes a good listener to build trust. Sometimes the kid is telling you loud and clear how you can help support him. For example, "hey Mr. Journay, are you coming to watch us play tonight?" Doing things such as washing clothes in the sports locker room of the kid that doesn't have a washer or dryer at home can build a strong relationship. Giving out toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair combs, and other hygiene items in health class means nothing to most but the world to a few without exposing them. Asking questions and being a little bit nibby helps me keep in touch with those kids that are just at school for the social scene. I just simply try to make sure each one of them knows that I am looking out for them and I care about them.

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    1. I love getting to interact with previous students and hearing how things are going. I have a student whose sister is in middle school and her parents were telling me about how much she is accomplishing. I love to hear those stories!

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  8. I agree with a statement above. This week has been draining. There are days when you do question, am I doing enough, can I do enough...those are the days when I think about the students that have come back to me and have told me what they are doing in life or how much they enjoyed being in my class.
    I have had, recently actually, two students tell me that they are going into teaching, that has just made my heart happy.
    One I had connected with via facebook and wondered how she was doing. When she was in our building and in my classroom she had a bumpy home life. She always came to school with a smile and always tried her best. She worked very hard every day. She was shocked that I remembered her! I explained that her smile every day was motivating for me. If you could have a smile on your face every day, I should be able to have one on my face as well. She is going to be a music teacher.
    Another student, is a sib of a current student I have. She has been in my classroom to visit her sister and has shared with the other kids that she was able to have me two years, that she was lucky. Again, made my heart happy. She is now going to school to go overseas to teach.
    Just wow! It makes the crummy days brighter if you think of your "stories!" Every teacher has those. I just hold them dear and think of them on the crummy days!

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  9. My favorite thing about teaching is the excitement and love the students show when they walk into the classroom. Their smiles and hugs are priceless. I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and have just recently went back to subbing. After only being back for a few months, I quickly realized how much I missed my own classroom. Before subbing I tried being a para, but it just wasn't the same as having your own classroom. The classroom community is like a family, and I really feel the kids need this close, loving, family experience. So although I did stop teaching for many years to raise my own kids, I quickly learned that I'm ready to go back and continue where I left off many years ago.
    As far as building and maintaining relationships with the students, I try to show each student that I care about them. Simply talking to them, listening intently, showing that they matter, and letting them know that I have high hopes for them, will all help with the relationship/trust building. They may be small, but just like us they need to trust and truly believe in those who care for them.

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    1. Welcome back to teaching! Do you feel that time off has helped you or will help you become a better teacher?

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    2. I also took 15 years off as a stay at home mom and just came back last year...wow what an adjustment!! Relationships with people is one of my favorite things...talking and listening like you said...it is definitely rewarding!

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    3. April, I do feel my time off made me a better teacher. I just interviewed for a job the other day. I hadn't interviewed for 20 years and felt REALLY nervous that I wouldn't be current with new ideas, and unable to answer questions, etc. I feel my "mom" experiences really helped me, along with a lot of praying. :)
      But I went in confident and really feel it went well. The principal was very encouraging and said I did very well. I was able to talk about my experiences and relate them to the classroom in a way I couldn't before being a mom. For example, treating my students as a family, showing them care and concern, and using a lot of examples from this book.

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  10. My favorite part of teaching is the kiddos. I know that sounds silly...but sometimes school is the only place they feel safe and comfortable or get the attention they need. I love being the person they feel safe and comfortable with and creating a community within the classroom. Now that I am not in a "traditional" classroom anymore and work with preschoolers...I love being their first teacher...their first person to make an impact on their love of learning. I think what keeps me from stopping is my shear passion for the kids. I get just as excited as they do when that "light bulb" goes on and they have learned something new. I also keep doing it because I think the education world is suffering a bit and passionate teachers are hard to come by with the crazy high expectations of teachers and administrators to perform and gain scores they need.
    To build relationships with the learners I make sure I maintain a positive attitude and getting to know them personally...remembering each of them have a story

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    1. Aren't the students the reason we go into teaching? That is not a silly answer at all! I have the same reason listed in my comment, they need our safe, loving environment.

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  11. My favorite part is the students and seeing the light bulb click on after a good lesson.
    I think the same thing keeps me from stopping. Those days that the students and I connect and learn something together. I have always thought that I am a teacher that is a guide to learning and have always found it awesome when the entire classroom learns together.
    I build relationships with students by learning something about them favorite car, game..... I think connecting with students is what all teaching is about.

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    1. That light bulb moment certainly is validating. And, as so many others have said, sometimes the "life" light bulb doesn't go on until after students have left our class. I have many students who are children of my former students. It's fun to hear these former students call out "Salve, magistra! Quid agis?", but it's even better when they talk about the other life and character skills they developed through Latin class (or English, math, science,etc.). As teachers, we consciously and unconsciously influence our students on so many levels.

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  12. My favorite thing about teaching...do I have to pick just one?!

    -I love getting to interact with the students on a daily basis. I enjoy having the same students each day in the classroom. I missed that aspect of a classroom community when I was the media specialist.
    -I love to see their "aha" moments each day. I strive to have at least one each day, so that I know they are learning and growing as students.
    -I love to see and interact with students that I had in my classroom previous years.

    I know the list could go on and on. As far as what keeps me from stopping, it would be the things listed above, as well as knowing that for some of my students I am the only positive and loving interaction they will receive for the day. For that reason, I keep going back and not giving up until every student succeeds to the best of his/her ability.

    I feel like we have discussed building relationships with students before, but having time to have a conversation with them is one of the best ways to build a relationship. Even the small things can make a difference. This school year I have a Harry Potter classroom theme and I have bonded with my class over that, because we have read the first book, watched the movie, and had a HP themed party. They in turn have learned to feel open to exploring their love of Harry Potter and sharing that with me! Finding common ground is a great way build those relationships. Since today is Election Day, the boys basketball team was disappointed that I couldn't stay for their first game of the season, so that I could go vote (2 hour wait, btw!). The fact that they know I will come and support them is essential!

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  13. My favorite thing hand down is the kids. I build relationships by talking to kids when I walk through the lunch room, talking to kids about things that matter in their lives, going to their activities outside of our school, & like the books said, talking to them like real people.

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  15. I love music. The fact that I can teach my passion is icing on the cake for me. I love to see my students’ faces light up when the lightbulb goes on and they can read or play that special piece of music; or when they’ve written even the simplest rhythm pattern and are so proud to share it on an instrument for their classmates. I love how excited they get when their music program gets close and they can’t wait to show off for their parents. I love the pride that they take in their hard work. The only thing that has truly discouraged me as a teacher is the battle that I've had to fight since I started teaching music. I have always felt like I’ve had to fight the public opinion of: elementary music…..it's just “fluff”....all they do is sing. She’s just the babysitter so that the real teachers can have a prep time. I do not feel that way anymore. I’ve worked very hard to prove my worthiness as a teacher, and how important music is to a well rounded child. I’m proud of my accomplishments in correcting that mindset, and I’m extremely proud of my students accomplishments that they exude every time they perform for me or their parents. That’s what keeps me going! :)

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    1. I love when the students have excited, dedicated special area teachers! My son went from hating his 45 minutes of music class last year to it being his absolute favorite class this year (change of teachers). An awesome teacher makes all of the difference. Thank you for your passion to teach music...it's SO important!

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  16. One of my favorite things about teaching is conferencing. I love to meet with students (especially 1-1) and guide them through their reading and writing. I love to be able to give them quality time where they feel heard, affirmed, and challenged. I love the immediate feedback and the level of detail we can get into. It is difficult to meet 1-1 and to do so with consistency but it builds trust and confidence.

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  17. What I enjoy most about teaching is simply getting to know different types of kids and trying to make their lives a little easier. I have learned over the years that kids have a whole set of outside factors effecting their time at school. Whether it is family problems, social stress, or just being overwhelmed with too many extracurricular actives, I like the feeling of giving kids an escape while they are at school. As a media specialist, I have the luxury of offering this relaxation time to students much more than a classroom teacher and I am thankful for that. I love it when kids come in on a Monday morning and excitedly tell me about the book they read over the weekend. I love to see their eyes light up when they tell me about a certain character or plot and know that for awhile they were able to leave the pressure and stress of the real world behind them for awhile and just enjoy being a kid.

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  18. I enjoy the constant change in teaching. The day is always different, and you never know what to expect. Some students are challenging at times, but all in all I enjoy being around kids. They have funny moments, AHA! moments, sad moments, and everything in between. I also enjoy changing grades, so I'm not teaching the same thing over and over. I also don't teach things the same way each year. I rarely keep file folders of ideas and activities unless it is something I really love. I enjoy updating my curriculum each year to provide my students with the most current and interesting information. I get bored if I teach the same thing over and over with the exact same activities. In my ten years I have taught 6th, 4th, 2nd, and 1st. I'm currently looping in 1st grade and will take the same class through 2nd grade. This is my first year looping, and I'm hoping I will enjoy the change each year. I'm sure nobody likes to admit it, but I enjoy the breaks and summers off. I can't imagine only getting 2 weeks of vacation each year. It also allows me to recharge and miss being in the classroom. It gives me time to create/find new activities and keeps me excited in the classroom.

    I build relationships with students simply by interacting, caring, and getting to know them. We have family time every Monday for students to share with me something from their weekend. I also share something from my weekend.

    I think I keep coming back because I can't imagine doing anything else!

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  19. My favorite thing about teaching is the connections I have with students and my fellow teachers. Most days, I keep going back because I see the value in what I do and feel that our students are the future.

    Ultimately, we are all in teaching because we value our students. We maintain our relationships with students by knowing them personally and sharing our lives with them. I've spent a lot of time in the last weeks thinking about these connections. I've been watching my fellow teachers and really paying attention to how they connect with students. The one thing I really notice is that these connections have nothing to do with the content we teach. These connections come from knowing our students and caring about their lives. It is the teacher who creates a student club because he sees a student interest. It is the teacher who loans a student some money when she is waiting for payday. It is the teacher who pulls a shy student onto the dance floor and then dances and laughs with him. It is the teacher that celebrates a student being brave enough to sing in front of a huge crowd and it is the librarian who may not remember a student's name, but knows that he is waiting for a specific book and orders it through her personal Amazon account. The content we teach is secondary to all of the connections we make every day.

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  20. My absolute favorite thing about teaching is being in the same place as my 4 kids... Being on their schedule and seeing them throughout the day warms my heart. I am with them as soon as the bell rings at the end of the day and we start our mornings together going to the same place. This keeps me going and make all the hard work and ups and downs worth it!

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    1. I would agree that being on the same page as my own kids makes "days off" easier to deal with. The thought of having summers "off" is a joke around my colleagues knowing that we are even more engaged with new curriculum, projects, ideas, etc.during those "off" times.

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  21. I feel that it is a combination of both passion for my content area and a passion for my students that keeps me in this thankless and difficult profession. Like the text stated, we are all teachers because we value students. We are not teachers because we weren't smart enough to do something else or we didn't know what else to do. Because I'm so passionate about my content area within English and how reading and writing can be transformed into meaningful experiences and a way of "escape" for a lot of the students who need that, my passion tends to extend to them in lots of ways, and I have students telling me things like, "I never liked English before now." It's important to me to build relationships with students within my content area of English. The activity that was discussed from last week's reading assignment, the "I Wish You Knew" list, is one example of the types of activities that I like to do with my students as well. I also think it's so important to fill them in on my everyday life so that they know I trust them as well.

    My favorite part of teaching? Of course it's my students. The Michelles, Korys, Chevys, Sydneys, Kylees, and Joleighs. The ones who need us, the ones who make us smile, the ones who we must push, the ones who push us to be better. They are why I'm still here in this mostly thankless profession that is sometimes looked down upon by others.

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  22. My favorite part of teaching is and always has been the kids. That is the reason I became a teacher. I like being around the kids and encouraging them to push themselves to become better individuals. I am passionate about my subject area and get excited trying to teach the kids to become healthier and more fit physically and mentally. I enjoy interacting with the student and getting to know more about them. During our class time, I always walk around searching for positive things to compliment the students. I try to provide a safe, judgement free learning environment. I always remind my students to just do the best they can and have fun doing it. They will grow and they will improve as long as they feel comfortable trying and not fear failure. I also enjoy the staff I work with. All are supportive and helpful on the rough days! I'm thankful that the desire to help kids and be a positive role model to them is strong because teaching is a tough profession. A few weeks back we talked about doubt and how easy it is to doubt ourselves and what we are doing, but being around the kids each day and looking for the positive happenings keeps me sparked!

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  23. My guess is everyone on this site will say that the kids are the best part about the job. They are the reason we show up and try our best every day. When I am overwhelmed by paperwork, data, and negativity I try to remember the small victories. Maybe it was helping a young student learn a new sound or seeing an older student get an A on a test. Focusing on the small victories helps keep me motivated for the school year. I loved the ideas in the weekly reading about reaching out to families. Building that trust is a great way to encourage kids to stay in school!

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    1. I think we could've all put two words "the students". We do not teach to look through data, grade papers, be evaluated, and write lesson plans. Those small victories are what keep us all coming back day after day.

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  24. The students are the reason I get to come to school everyday. It is not really a "job" but the experience of parenting everyday with other peoples' children. Along the way we learn content things too. We grow together!

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    1. I like your comment...that teaching really isn't a "job"! I always say that they pay me to have fun! I enjoy what I do and the kids are having fun and they are learning.

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  25. My favorite thing about teaching is the difference I make in my students’ lives. The fact that I can take a kid who hates reading and by the end of the year, he may not love it, but will do it and sometimes even enjoy it some. That I can show students that adults do care about them and that they can trust an adult. I could go on and on! A close second would be the literature I teach. I teach English 9 and it is by far my favorite high school level curriculum. My favorite novel of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird and I get to teach it every year! I love the themes we get to discuss with all of the texts we read. I love the lessons that I get to share with them through the characters in the novel, which I hope they can transfer to their own personal lives.

    There were days early in my teaching that I would cry on my prep or on my way home. But as I taught more and learned how to manage my classroom and emotions, that changed. Also being able to have kids come back to you their senior year and tell you how much a difference you made in their lives, helps reaffirm why I am in this profession. Some days, when I’m loaded with grading and paperwork, and I feel like all I do is jump through hoops to prove myself as an “effective” teacher, I do feel like stopping and finding another profession. What keeps me in the classroom is the change I see in students throughout the year. The fact that I can help students grow and become successful learners.

    I build relationships with my students by talking to them and listening to them. Of course a lot of the time we discuss our literature, but a lot of times we talk about personal interests and what’s going on in their lives. Kids catch on really quickly which teachers are genuinely interested in them and which ones could care less. Many of my students desperately need a positive adult role model in their life, and I provide that for them. Many teachers have pushed these kids aside and labeled them in a negative way, and shown them that they aren’t good enough to connect with (in their eyes).

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    1. I cried a lot more early on, also. Classroom management is something that is learned over time. It was never anything taught in those college classes. Different things work for different teachers, and we need to find out ways.
      I think we do toughen up over time, also. We learn to not take their behavior as a personal attack....at least I used to!

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    2. I completely agree! There just isn't a good way to teach classroom management; you have to experience it and try new things to see what works for you.

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  26. I agree with these comments, that not every day is perfect, and sometimes it is very tricky to answer a question such as this. My favorite part about teaching is spending my days with my kids knowing that they need me while I am with them. Especially teaching kindergarten, I am very much needed and I love letting them know that I will always be there for them. There are many days that my class gets me through the day by always putting a smile on MY face. I see how much they rely on me and I think that automatically helps me get through the tough days of teaching. I love that they learn so much in their kindergarten year and seeing that at the end of year is a great reward for myself. Or when one of my students realizes he/she CAN read is always a pretty awesome "teacher moment" as well. I don't think I stop teaching because I know what I am doing is where I need to be. I always give my students lots of praise and I do my best to always make them feel special. I often try to individualize it when I can, so every one of my students feels part of the class.

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  27. I thing I enjoy most about teaching is the relationships with the kids. High school kids are so funny. Keeping up on their culture and slang is one way to connect with them. I don't try to use it in an awkward way, but being able to understand their conversations, and having things to talk to them about opens up so many doors. I'll be honest when I don't know a lot about Pokemon (yes, this came up with a Junior boy). My own children got into it, so I asked this kid to explain it to me more. It was neat to see him glow, and talk about something that really interested him.
    There have been days where I thought about not coming back. It's hard! I've gone home in tears. I've asked myself what went so wrong with my lesson, and am I really an effective teacher. And then I get an email from a parent, see a former student, or talk to a coworker who overheard kids talking about something in my class. We need affirmation. As I imagine the hard world these kids are growing up in....they need it too. The book talks about choosing one kid each day to recognize their awesomeness and send an email home. That can be easy to forget, but weekly sending out a few at a time, is easier for me. It's awesome the responses you get back from the parents!!

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  28. I love teaching at the high school level even when it has been a rough day. I always return the next day hoping it will be a better day. Somehow each year I have a few students who can always make me smile and that helps. It is amazing how differently a student will act in class when I go out of my way to help them out. Whether it is by attending an extracurricular event, buying them a snack on a field trip when they do not have any money, or just giving them a compliment when they dressed up for the day. I will try to send notes home more often or give out awards when a student who usually does not participate does.

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  29. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing a student "get it". For my students, repetition is key to learning and retaining. There are days when I think that we will never be able to move on...I keep doing this because it is challenging, I like that. I like to joke around with students, this really helps when you need to have a serious talk with a kiddo- I think students know when you like them. Learning a student's name is one of the things that I try to do as soon as possible. Students have said to me "You know my name?" I smile and say"yep"

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  30. Wow, trying to answer the question of my favorite part about teaching is so difficult! That is such a small question with such a huge answer. I guess my favorite part of teaching is the feelings I get from it. I'm a people person so I love to be around all the students and staff in the building. I enjoy feeling connected with so many different people. Another feeling I get that I enjoy is when you finally reach a student or they have that aha! momement. It's also an amazing feeling planning for a lesson and then carrying it out and it working how you wanted, or maybe even better. Another great feeling is when you can pass your love for the content you teach onto other students. Those are the feelings that come to mind easily and it's those things that keep me from stopping. I think I'd be lost without my job as a teacher. I also really love the content I teach as a Family and Consumer Science teacher.

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  31. I love teaching health to middle school students. They are curious, awkward and sometimes embarrassed - but for the most part are really interested. I believe that learning about your health and trying to live a healthy lifestyle is something that everyone can relate to. I think my favorite moments are when the kids have learned something in health class and then can relate it to their own personal life or apply it some fashion. Students are so excited when they tell me they heard something on tv that was "health" related and they knew what the program was talking about! Or I think of the times that students have come to me with difficult person issues. I have a 2-3 day suicide awareness unit for 8th graders. A huge emphasis is to tell someone-an adult if your are concerned about a friend or classmate. A couple of days after the unit a group of girls came to me with a concern about a friend. They said, "Mrs. Roush, our friend doesn't want us to say anything, but you said, we need to tell someone if we're concerned-so we're telling you." I assured them that they were doing the right thing because they cared about the well being of their friend. Then, the "friend" actually walked up to this group! At this moment, I asked God for the right words! I assured this young lady she was blessed to have such wonderful and caring friends and she chose one of the girls to go with her to the counselor. She got the helped she needed because of what her friends learned in class! The girls and a mom of one of the girls thanked me for the lessons and for being there for them. It's moments like this that reinforce my belief that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

    When I grew up my parents and school didn't do much about teaching health. And of course some topics are too embarrassing to talk about. I love that fact that my students will ask questions even if a bit embarrassed. Anything I can do to help them advocate and understand their own health the better. Of course, with questions from middle schoolers comes a lot of funny, awkward and embarrassing questions and/or comments but I love it!

    Not every school offers Health class as it is often just a few lessons squeezed into p.e. or science class. I am blessed to have administrators and fellow teachers who are very supportive of our health curriculum. I'm not sure what else I would do if I didn't teach Health!

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  32. I think my favorite thing about teaching is the relationships I get to build while doing my job. I have the privilege to work with my students but also the people in my corporation. Coaching 3 sports a year I get to know many people that others don't normally get to see. Getting to know the administrators and support personnel in the school corp helps reassure me I'm doing a job thats important. Our schools are filled with great people who want to do everything they can to give our students a great school experience.
    I get to work with our students not only in the classroom but on the athletic fields and gyms. Getting to work with the students in different capacities helps me build deeper relationships with them while earning their respect. Earning their respect helps me work with them to make better decisions and guide them when things are not going their way.

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  33. Like so many have already said, my favorite part of teaching is the students. I love the aha moments when I see an idea click with the students. On the first day of school I look for the student in the hallway who is struggling. I teach 6th grade so the students are coming to a new school. Many are scared and overwhelmed. I offer help and encouragement and a smile. Inside my classroom, I try to get to know my students as quickly as possible. I learn their names and share stories with them. I teach English, and much of literature is stories. I hook students with stories how my dad got run over by a bus . . . twice. Then I move onto my mom who lost her thumb in an accident. I talk about IU basketball and the Chicago Cubs. I share about my children. This helps form a bond with my students.
    The people are what makes teaching special. I feel that while I am teaching
    English, I am also teaching life. I also encourage any young person who has a passion for teaching to pursue it. We need great teachers in the classroom who are full of passion for students. That is key. Teaching takes a bad rap, but it is such a vital profession.

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  34. I’m lucky because I have my dream job. I tell my students that and some of them look at me like I’m crazy. I tell them, yeah, I get to play school every day! I am so glad I have a job where I can get excited about going there every day. (I had an office job right out of graduation for a whole month and a half, and I was miserable and isolated inside my dark, grey cubicle.) In my classroom I get to interact with many different people and talk about a subject I love. I get to see the light of day (I have great windows! No cubicle for me!), and my students challenge me to use every ounce of creativity. What other job could make me be not only Spanish teacher, but lifelong learner, poet, historian, archaeologist, counselor, cheerleader, artist, dancer, and even singer! What keeps me coming back for more is that I love working with teenagers, and I love my subject. It’s a great combination, and I get to learn something new all the time.


    How do I build and maintain relationships with my students? I talk to them. I tell them stories. I put them first. I laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. We are all in this together.

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    1. Your response of "I talk to them" made me think of a recent conversation I had with a friend of mine. She works in a nursing home and was telling me about some of the horrible comments the residents make toward her and said I could probably relate working with high school students. And while there are the occasional horrible comments or roll of the eyes, for the most part, I work with great students. Just talking to them and letting them know a little about me and how we are not so different helps form relationships and build bonds. Something so simple as just talking or asking a question can let a student know you DO care about them. It really takes village. :)

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  35. I have to agree with Lauren Angeles...where else could I have this much fun! I love teaching my students...I get paid to have fun! I have been teaching Spanish for over 30 years and I still enjoy it everyday. I must admit that I have had some kids that push my buttons over the years but not very many!
    Making connections with students is the key. If they know that your respect them as students, they will generally show you respect. A lot of laughter gets us through the days!

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  36. The best part of teaching for me are the "Aha" moments. You watch a student work really hard to understand a concept, and you can literally see the light go on. Helping that student achieve their "Aha" moment is what keeps me going when things get really tough. Also, like many others have stated, I build relationships with my students by being as real as I can with them. I try to incorporate my own personal stories into lessons as it works out. I try to find personal ways to relate to my students, outside the classroom.

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  37. My favorite thing about teaching is I love working with kids, and teaching students new things. I love seeing students learn a new concept or a new sign and beging using it immediately. Because I teach ASL, I love when my students come to me and tell me that they signed outside of the classroom.
    I build relationships by talking with my students. In my ASL classes we have a 10 minute talk time where they only sign and ask about each others day, or what they are doing for the week/weekend, etc. I usually go around and ask students myself about their day or week. They enjoy signing with me and showing me that they can carry on a conversation with me. I also enjoy attending events that my students participate in and they enjoy seeing me there.

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  38. My favorite thing about teaching is feeling like I'm making a difference in my students' lives. I love making connections with them, and of course, seeing the "lightbulb" moments. I love the "work as a team" mentality with my class and with my fellow teachers. I also love helping the parents become more involved in their child's education - teaching them techniques and fun education games they can incorporate into their busy daily routines. Education is such a rewarding profession and the impact we make on the future is priceless!

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  39. My favorite thing about teaching is being able to show students how fun, exciting, and awesome art is. I hope that the students realize how much fun art is and that everyone can be an artist in their own way. I love to teach art history along with my projects. I want students to see the real artist: who they were, how they are similar to themselves possibly, who inspired them, etc. I love that I get to have a relationship with every student in the school. I love to show the students how passionate I am about art and want them to be.

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    1. I also really enjoy showing my students that reading can be fun and entertaining. Today we did a Gallery Walk to wrap up a workshop. What activities do you use in your classroom to show the students are is fun?

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  41. What a loaded question! My lunch group and I were just talking about this. With the recent election over some of my peers are worried about what will keep them in teaching. I had to pause for a moment and think to myself. Its not about what happens at a national, state, or local level that matters, its what happens in MY classroom. I (with my students) run my classroom and that's all that matters day in and day out. I firmly believe in my content area. While some think this is 'fluff' or unnecessary I stand behind my content area. I think every child should be required to take a F.C.S. class prior to graduation. I think they all have relevance to their life. So, first what keeps me teaching is how strongly I feel students need my content.
    Second, it warms my heart and keeps me motivated when I have students tell me, "yeah, I actually learned something in your class about____________". Just recently I had a student contact me on social media who took my Food and Nutrition class who now has been accepted for a paid internship at Disney World. I could not have been more proud!! When students take my content out of the classroom and earn a sense of accomplishment from something I taught them-that's my drive. That's what motivates me.
    Connecting with students isn't something I've struggled with, being that my first year teaching I was 3-4 years older than them I had some common ground. I've built on that and now some of those first year students are connecting with my via social media. Connecting with current students is a little harder, but I try to engage with them about social lives, interests, and hobbies. My content areas leads me to being able to connect to students, we talk so much about real life and their families that sometimes students just share (even overshare!).
    All in all, STUDENTS keep me motivated, challenged and excited about my job!

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  42. I have so many reason why I love to teach. I especially love teaching preschool because I get to make the first school experience for these kiddos a great one. I love seeing their smiles, watching their interactions, and seeing their joy light up the room. I love hearing their stories and how excited they get about learning. I get so excited when I see the progress they are making and get to celebrate their successes with the students and their parents. I form relationships with the students by talking with them and listening, getting down on the floor and playing with them, talking with them at lunch, and while working with them during our centers. I keep teaching because I know I'm making a difference and these students are going to be ready for Kindergarten when they leave my classroom.

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  43. I love teaching for many reasons! The main reason is summers off! Just kidding. All though it is a perk, my passion for teaching is way greater than summer. I absolutely love getting to know the students and build relationships with them. Middle school is such an awkward phase that everyone goes through. I love being able to help students transition from child to teen. Teaching Health, offers me the opportunity to have conversation and discussion with students about the stressors and issues they face. There are obviously challenges, as discussed in chapter 18, however, the author says it best when he reminds us that teaching is like climbing a mountain...with a heavy backpack...in the middle of a snow storm! You will constantly have struggles and will have to stop and adjust your plan of action, but every now and then whey you stop to look around...the view is amazing and totally worth it!

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  44. My favorite thing about teaching is getting to see the "aha" moment when a topic finally clicks with a student. I enjoy seeing the students grow and progress throughout the year. I like to build relationships with them and help them achieve their goals for the future. We truly are making a difference in their lives, which is something that keeps me motivated and excited about my job.

    I also enjoy the time that teaching allows me to spend with my family. I have thought about stopping teaching several times, but I always recharge myself and continue. I think the main reason that I continue is that I know the students need good teachers who will work hard for them and care, and I try to to do that everyday.

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  45. My favorite thing about teaching is that no two days are alike. What keeps me going is that there are a multitude of kids that NEED someone to show an interest in them. It's important that they have positive roles models who care. I build relationships by simply talking to my students as PEOPLE, not subordinates. We build mutual respect for one another, which builds and maintains those relationships.

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  46. My favorite part of teaching is working with my students. Everyday I learn from them and I hope they learn from me. Even better then working on a day to day basis with students is the ones that come back. Whether they are looking for assistance with a paper, advice in their personal life, or just stopping by to chat - to me that is a huge compliment.
    I few things that prevent me from working with students is the lack of time. Building trust takes time. Even though I feel I reach a large number of my students because I am in the freshmen academy and have small classes, I know there are students that need help and are not getting it whether it academic or emotional. This year I have a very needy group of students who are always second guessing themselves. We implemented quarterly awards this year within the academy to help build confidence and give the students a goal to work toward.

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  47. My favorite part of teaching is designing lessons and activities that I know my students will love. I always try to remember what it was like to be an elementary student, and some of my best school memories revolve around projects and lessons that were fun, educational, and kept my interest. I try to keep that in mind as I plan out my week's lessons. I truly do enjoy lesson planning, and could spend far more time than I do on planning. As more and more responsibilities are handed over to teachers, it is often hard to find the time to plan engaging lessons. I love all of the information I have learned from this book study and the previous book study in regards to collaborating with other teachers. I think that strong collaboration is the key to being able to maintain a classroom that is engaging, productive, and excites the kids about learning.

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  48. What is my favorite thing and what keeps me from stopping? That's easy. Watching my students because "people"! I thoroughly enjoy teaching students and getting to know them as people. Watching them transform from a "student" in my class to a "person" that I know, is so fun. Watching them question, process, think critically, and grow as a learner and young adult is so amazing to me. My students literally become part of my family. I care about them, I worry about them, I pray for them, I cry with them, and I celebrate with them. That, is the best part of my job and what keeps me from stopping. I wake up believing that I have a purpose and I have a need to be at that school to help my students. Some days it's to help them learn a lesson about a FACS concept, and sometimes it's to learn a lesson about life. On the best days, it's to learn a lesson about both. I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  49. My favorite thing about teaching is that no day is the same. I can expect a day to be similar to the one before (like during testing time), but it never turns out that way. Even though I consider myself a planner, I’m okay with things not going as planned. I guess that, as teachers, we have to have that built-in flexibility.


    The unpredictability of my days and the ever-changing kids are what keep me from stopping. While my days are not hectic and go-go-go, some little unexpected thing happens during the day, for better or for worse, that makes me have to adapt. Learning to help my students and my colleagues navigate those good and bad things each day is what keeps me going. I don’t always see the immediate rewards from the kids, but I don’t need that.


    I build relationships with my kids by simply being available. My kids, past and present, know that when they see me, in or out of school, that they can approach me. They know that they can always reach out to me for help of any kind and that if I can’t help them, I will find someone who will do so. Building that relationship while they are in school is easy. Maintaining it is so much easier now with social media, too. Many of my former students will send me friend requests, and I am usually pretty eager to accept most of them. I am usually quite honored that they would want to include me that their circle of friends.

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