Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Tonight, I have nothing to say about curriculum or technology.

I want to write a bit about my attitude in the classroom.

I read a post on the blog, Magical Mystical Teacher. The author has participated in a meme. A meme means that the author is answering a set of questions that are to be answered by other bloggers.

He writes:

The thing I love most about teaching is the kids, the kids, and the kids. Oh, did I mention the kids? Yes, they try my patience. Yes, I get tired of their whining. And, yes, with some of them I sometimes wonder if "anyone's home in there." But at the end of the day, when I head for the parking lot and hear a student yell out, "Hey, Mr.!" and wave at me, I know that the time I spend in the classroom with them is worth more than gold.

Teachers almost universally respond that the thing they love about teaching is the kids. But, on the other hand, teachers almost universally complain about their students.

I have always had difficulty reconciling this contradiction. How can someone enjoy the company of kids if they don't like the company of kids? In a similar vein, I have always felt guilty because my students sometimes annoy me, and sometimes I hate my job. Sometimes, I feel like I am in the wrong profession because I don't feel like I love the kids as much as other teachers I read about.

Today, in my 5-6 class, I resolved to observe in myself if I was enjoying teaching.

The answer I discovered, upon self-reflection, is that indeed, I was enjoying myself. I do enjoy the energy and general social dynamic of my classroom. It is not gleeful, but it is relaxing. It is nice.

At one point, something funny happened. I asked a student to fetch my son from downstairs. A few seconds after my student left the room, my son appeared. The students laughed. I chuckled. There are moments like this in my classroom; there is humor. Not everyone has the luxury of a job where there is humor. Not everyone has the luxury of a work environment where they get along with their "co-workers." Sure, the students annoy me sometimes, but we always come back to square one, a clean slate. Generally, kids don't hold grudges for very long (which is one of the reasons I like kids) and I would absolutely never hold a grudge against one of my students.

There is no activity that a person could enjoy all day every day; not even Wii. There are good times and bad times in every experience. This is an inevitable fact, especially when the experience involves sharing a room with a group of kids for ten months. It is unreasonable for me to expect that I should love teaching every minute that I am in the classroom. No teacher does.

That being said, I do enjoy teaching and I am blessed to be doing a job that I enjoy at least most of the time.

Photo by splorp.


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