Sunday, February 22, 2009

student-teaching update 2

This is part of another journal entry I wrote for student-teaching...

On Friday night I attended my first school activity. It was a pageant, where ten male students, who had been nominated by teachers, competed to be Mr. LN (our school’s initials). The boys first came out with open statements about why they should be crowned Mr. LN, and then shared a talent, which ranged from playing guitar, to dancing, to a cake eating contest, to stand-up comedy. I sat with my teacher and some of our students. I found that I had to still keep up my teacher persona around them, such as still being called Ms. Wood. There is a professional balance that doesn’t end when class is over, although I think that it can be relaxed.

One of my students was a contestant and had excitedly told me how he was going to win with his talent. Although he did not win, I thought he was one of the best in the show. There was one memorable moment of the evening that I have been thinking about. A teacher at the school recently had a baby niece who passed away. The final contestant in the talent show wrote a very touching song for her and performed it. After it was over, my teacher whispered to me, “That must mean so much to [the teacher].” I think moments like that are what make teaching so humbling. We don’t teach to get praise, but there is more reward in students’ success than people get in other professions. Teachers invest into the lives of young people and aren’t always appreciated for it. Yet, when that one student will stand up in front of his peers and sing a song to comfort a teacher going through a rough time, everything is worth it.


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