Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doubts and Faith

brick by brick
When I first began to share the news that I was leaving my "regular" job and going to teach first graders, people were so supportive. (Well, they are still supportive.) I heard regularly how lucky the kids would be and what a great teacher I would make.

Four weeks in - I sometimes doubt that I'm making an impact. Things seem really hectic in my classroom at times. I have lots of social kids - those who want to talk and talk and talk. To me. To the kids around them. To the bookshelf. Well, not really but it seems that way.

My number one fear is failing the children. I want my kids to learn and grow. I want them to know as much as possible before they move on to second grade. But many times it seems that things aren't progressing as I'd hoped. And I feel that I'm not doing what I need to do to help them.

I want my class to be fun and energizing and full of learning. But at the end of some days, it just seems like we struggled to make it to the end of the day intact. Things aren't like I imagined. (And that's normal.) I feel I'm struggling because I'm not doing something right.

Four weeks in - I know I'm where I should be. I have a classroom full of wonderful kids. Kids that have needs and problems. Kids that have promise and potential. Kids that seem to like me and my classroom. And kids whose faces fall when I sometimes let impatience show through. And I have faith that being where I should be will help me become who I need to be.

I must remind myself that they are only 6 (or so). And that I have only been a first grade teacher for 4 weeks. We are all still learning together. I have faith that I'm doing what I should. And I have faith that I can learn how to make the kids shine.

It's hard but it's worth it. I'll get it. Maybe being the reflective kind of guy I am will help me be a better teacher in the long run. I hope the kids will be patient with me...more patient than I sometimes am with them.

I'm living on the border of doubt and faith. Maybe a fairly good first grade teacher can grow here.

3 comments:

  1. You are thoughtful and reflective - that is huge. I know you are making a difference with those kids. I have no doubt that you are growing as an even better 1st grade teacher than you already are. Enjoy the kids, enjoy the year, enjoy the learning adventure.

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  2. Scott - You are exactly where you should be. Breathe. You KNOW that the fall is always the busiest "hectic" time even when you do know what you are doing. Keep on reflecting. The children in Grade One with you are lucky because you care enough to want to be a better teacher.

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  3. Every group of children is different which makes every year an adventure. As teachers we have to go with the groups strengths which at this time is your kids ability to talk. Maybe not exactly when and to whom you want right now but they are talking and in grade 1 that's what we should be encouraging. In order for them to read and write they have to be able to talk about things first. You'll get the hang of redirecting them and bringing their focus to the topic. Give yourself and your kids time and you will look back in June as be so surprized at how far they have come.

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