This past Friday, I was out for Happy Hour with many of the other teachers from my school. As we concluded our second week of school, I listened as others made their assessments of their classes so far. When it became my turn, I flinched a little, hoping that I could duck the question. I didn't feel like I had a good handle on my group, and so I commented that I felt as though I was starting to put kids into roles. This one will be my smart girl. This one will be with me during recess a lot. I was using models that seemed accurate from ten years of teaching experience. It was suggested that I was becoming jaded.
That suggestion was the reason that I had hoped to duck the question. Sometimes my professional judgement keeps me from looking at my students as children. Sometimes I see them as dots on a graph, or scores in a grade book. After all, that's what I am expected to deliver at the end of the day. It is a moment such as this that I must stop and reflect on the collaborative nature of education. I'm going to do my part. The kids will do their part. The parents will do their part.
That's when I have to remember that education is a story that hopefully has no end. I know that the kids in my class are already weighing me against all their previous teachers. "My third grade teacher never gave me homework on the weekends." "He never lets us go out to P.E." "Why doesn't he have a car?" I would guess that there have been a few gatherings of students and parents discussing my relative merits. And that's as it should be. I'm looking to hit one out of the park every day, metaphorically speaking. That doesn't sound too jaded, does it? I'm hoping to find that winning combination of curriculum and motivation that makes being in Mister Caven's fourth grade class a worthwhile experience. It's time for me to recall all those students who left their mark with me, and it's time for me to remember that it's going to happen again.
I've got to remember this for next Happy Hour.