It is a whole new year for teaching my students. We have already been through half the year. It seems crazy. We have already experienced a half of year of craziness—many victories and many struggles. Looking back I know there are some things that I can change and make better or things that I can keep the same because they are working. I want to be better for my students. I want this year to mean something to them at the end of the year.
Do any other teachers feel this way? Am I alone in this thinking?
The more I think about it, the more each student’s face flashes through my mind. Each student being different, both their journey and struggles. I have to meet them where they are and stop expecting them to want what I have to teach them.
I want to learn each of my students. I want to be a student of my students.
My goals for 2020 are:
1. Get to know each student for who they are and not what I want them to be.
I get so frustrated with some students because they are not where I want them to be. I have a set of goals that I want to get accomplished and when they are not there yet, I get aggravated. At times, I take it out on the students.
What I want to remember this year is that every student goes at their own pace. I cannot measure my students’ progress that same way. Each individual student has a different skill set and gets developed at different times.
I want to learn what they bring to the table and what their passions in life are. I have gotten to know them a lot already this year, but I have gotten a little lazy towards the end of the semester in this area.
2. Be more aware of my student’s life situations.
This one is really important to me because this encompasses so much. I want to be aware of how they are doing in their friend groups, in their family, in their other classes, etc.
This seems a little impossible in a sense, but I am going to do my best.
I just need to continue keeping my ear out there to listen to how they interact with their peers and how their emotions are for the day, Sometimes knowing how they have started their day emotionally makes all the difference in the world.
3. Create more moments of discussion within my lessons.
It happens so often with teachers that we tend to be the ones that talk the most throughout the day. Yes, that typically is what we are supposed to do, but what about what our students have to say.
I know that every student has an opinion about numerous subject. I have never found this more true than this year with one of my eighth graders. I am not big on politics, but this particular student is very aware of what is going on in the world of politics. He could school me on many issues the world is facing right now. Hearing him talk about what he is passionate about is refreshing. I have given him a few instances to just speak about what is in the news because he has such insight.
With the teacher as the moderator, students should be given the chance to talk and express their thoughts on issues and subjects. I want to be better at this so that I can let them know that what they have to say is important.
4. BE MORE PREPARED!!!
This one is VITAL is I want any of these to happen. In order for the first three to happen, I need this one the MOST.
1- I cannot get to know my students if I have not finished the lesson due to not being prepared.
2- I cannot keep my ear out there to listen to my students to be aware of their situations if I am busy catching up on things at my desk.
3- I cannot add moments of discussion if I am not ready or prepared to present a lesson.
All of these hinge on being prepared in everything.
Being prepared is paramount in the life of a teacher. If I have not prepared as I should have, I have done a disservice to my students. This is a HUGE goal of mine.
I am always so grateful that God has given me this amazing job. Speaking into the lives of the next generation is an amazing honor that I do not take lightly. My students are my world.
As I go into 2020, I want this year to bring so much joy and victories to my students. It is going to be an incredible year.
What are your goals for your classroom? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.