Sunday, October 25, 2009

Taking Time to Remember the Important Stuff

Now-a-days there is a specialist for everything in a school. As a "regular" education teacher some days I wonder how will I ever get through the curriculum I am supposed to when there are so many interruptions. Between students being pulled out of the class, a specialist coming into the class, going to chorus, band, or strings during the school day, there isn't much time left for students to learn new concepts.

As I meticulously do my planning for the week, I think about how I can keep the students engaged and inspired to learn. More importantly, I try to think about how I can inspire them to make good choices, treat themselves and those around them with respect, how to motivate them to be an active learner and to take responsibility for their learning.

During the school day, I try to take time to remember the important stuff. Like encouraging the students to reflect on their beliefs, their learning, their actions, their thoughts, their choices and the world around them.

At the end of my school days, I like to reflect on what I did to remember the "important stuff." As I try to start my day off during our "moment of silence," I remind my self of what kind of teacher I want to be that day, what kind of person I want to be and who I want to be for and to my students.

Even though there are so many interruptions throughout our school day, I believe that if I remember the "important stuff" it will not matter how much time I have spent with my students. It will be how I spent my time with my students that is important in the end.


  1. Hi PSE,

    Do you find that reminding yourself of who you want to be for and to your students reminds you of the kind of person you want to be, which in turn reminds you of the kind of teacher you want to be?

    Stated differently, does putting 'who' first automatically define 'what?'

    If not, how do the 3 (who to be, what kind of individual to be and what kind of teacher to be) differ?

  2. Good questions Doug,

    "I remind my self of what kind of teacher I want to be" is about being the kind of teacher that provokes students to think for themselves by asking questions and not by telling.

    "What kind of person I want to be" is about the kind of person I want to be that and every day as my own person. Not as a teacher, but as a human being. A patient, kind, caring, respectful moral human being.

    The "who I want to be for and to my students" is about me being an advocate, a spark of compassion, a breathe of self reflection and an indirect force FOR them to find an inner belief in themselves that they can do what ever it is they want to do if they believe that they can. The part about what I want to be TO them is someone they can trust, someone that they know will challenge them to figure something out, someone that will hold them accountable for their choices and someone that will be there to congratulate them on a job well done.

    All three to me are the same but different. They are different because I feel that I have different roles. They are the same because when it comes down to it they are all the pieces that make me who I truly am.