Pure Teaching


When you get into teaching you have grandiose visions of what it will be like.  You will be the one whom your students always remember and whom they want to be like and from whom they learn the most.  However, reality rarely matches one’s dreams.  But every now and then you get a glimpse of what you hoped it looked like.  Today I got a little glimpse of what I had hoped it would look like.

We cover classes here at SJ.  That means we have to be the teacher in others classes during our conference period when a teacher fails to secure a sub, which seems like every day lately.  We hate this as teachers.  Teaching is tough and breaks are welcome and needed, not to mention trying to catch up on our grading, recording and all the other paper work that goes with teaching, plus prepping for you classes.  So when we have to cover it is pain.

Today I covered our class that is for our students who have difficulty reading.  They have not been able to read on grade level for a very long time and need to get there urgently.  They have a unique program that has them do 20 minute rotations between reading on their own, working on the computer and reading with the teacher.  It has had great success and this is the first day I was able to see why.

I sat in two groups (we had a fire alarm so could only do two rotations) and heard the pain of some of these kids trying to read. But they helped each other when they had trouble with a word and they took turns reading almost seamlessly.  They started at stopped on their own.  And when one kid felt like he didn’t want to read, the others encouraged him to try.  I was really impressed.  I would offer a word of encouragement and could see smiles on faces.  I knew this meant a lot, sometimes I wonder if anything I say gets through, but today I knew it did.

While I don’t want to teach these kids everyday, I did appreciate how it feels to teach where you are needed, and dare I say, appreciated.  Some of these kids are pretty tough kids and not all of them acted the way I described, but enough to make me feel good. Thanks to them!  Until next time, peace.

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