This week was a week of firsts. I attended my first open house as a “teacher”, I was given my first chance to lead a part of class discussion, we had our first STARS meeting with our STARS team, I even wrote my first “awesome job” post-it note, and gave it to a student who was staying on task, while others around him were not. I could probably go on with more firsts this week, but these are the ones that stick out the most.
The great thing about these firsts, are they are forcing me to take on the responsibilities of a teacher, where I’m held accountable. This new increase of accountability is only intensifying the realization that I am where I belong. That doesn’t mean everything has been completely perfect, in fact I feel everyday has been an intense roller coaster of emotions. I have hit some of my strongest highs this week, and then in matters of seconds, hit an ultimate low. However, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change the day. I might not want to repeat it, but I wouldn’t want to change it.
So, as mentioned before, I attended my first open house as a “teacher”. I think this really made me see how far I have come, and realize how the kids see me, as well as their parents. It also made me realize what is important to these parents. One dad said to his daughter, “Wow, they have set you up for success in here. I shouldn’t expect you to do poorly in here at all.” I think that statement says a lot about the environment and structure my CT sets. I hope to hear a parent say that someday about my classroom.
During the open house, there were a couple of times when parents talked directly to me because my CT was busy with other parents. One parent was there just to quickly let me know what he expected out of the teachers, should his daughter start doing poorly, or acting up in class. Another student came in with his mother, walked over to me, shook my hand (like we have him do before he enters class), and said hi. His mother started laughing and said that was a strange thing for him to do. I could tell he was a little embarrassed, so I explained to his mother that we have all of the students do that as they come into class because we like to take a second to see how each student’s day is going. This in return lets the students know we care about them as individuals. She seemed to really appreciate that.
At open house, I got to meet the grandmother and mother of a student who is also a part of the Grow Your Ca$h STARS team. I had him tell them about what he did that day, which involved presenting information, to the Director of the Get Real Science Program, to ask for grant money. They knew he was a good student, and expected the best out of him. His grandma asked him where he sat (most of the tables are in groups), and he said he has a group but usually chooses to sit alone. This of course concerned her. However there is a conflict between him and another student, which they were aware of, and I think that may play a role in him choosing to sit by himself.
On my way out, while in the hallways, I had a handful of students introduce me to their parents. Some of them were a part of the STARS team, and it was fun to see the parents’ reactions when their kids told them what they had been doing for the past 2 days. One father pulled his daughter close in, and told her he was so proud of her. I’m starting to realize these are the moments that teachers live for, because catching these moments, and being a part of them, is amazing.
On my way out, a student stopped and introduced me to her dad. When she had said I was Ms. Worthington, he responded “Oh, so you are Ms. Worthington? I’ve heard all about you. You guys (myself and my CT) are her favorite teachers.” This really caught me off guard, because I never thought a student would look at me as a “favorite teacher” while I was in a placement. It was kind of cool, and made me realize the impact we have already.