This is the ninth part of my Reflection Series for 2017 – a self-reflection of my teaching this year.
When was a time this year when you felt joyful and/or inspired about the work that you do?
So many times!
All of those little successes – like students working together even though they ‘don’t like each other’, students passing who hadn’t passed that subject before, getting a thank you for a well-organised resource, chats with students while on play ground duty… the list goes on and on!
One of the shining moments for me though was a conversation with my second pre-service teacher. We often talked about how kindness is so important to students – it’s the one key thing they are after in a teacher. This is particularly true at a school with a relatively low socio-economic status. If you can consistently show kindness to your students, you’ve half-won any behaviour management issues that might arise, and you’re also being a fantastic role model.
Then my pre-service teacher turned around and said something that warmed me to my core – that she likened me to Miss Honey from Matilda.
She said the way I treated students was so much like that, filled with kindness and care, and that she can see how I try to inject it into all of my interactions with my students.
I had really tried hard all year to be that was as a teacher, after being explicitly told by the students that that’s what they wanted more than anything else. And I can say it did work wonders. I’ve always been relatively good at forming good rapports with my students, but this year I did notice a distinct difference. The rapports built much more quickly and deeply than I’d been able to achieve before, and I felt a lot calmer and in better control of my teaching persona.
I encourage you to try infuse your teaching practices this year with kindness. Channel that inner Miss Honey, and see what differences it might make for you!
About the Author:
Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys blogging about her experiences, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine. Emily is currently on maternity leave with her first child. You can read more teaching articles from Emily here, or about her life as a new mum over at Actual Mums.