What is one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care)?
Huh. That's a thinker. I've been out in the sun, pulling weeds and thinking about this one for a few hours now (let's just agree not talk about my weed problem, ok?) and I'm still not sure I have an answer.
At first I thought about all the kids I've taught over the years and all the ones whose lives I hope I influenced. And yes, there probably are some big accomplishments there, some success stories. But those stories aren't mine, they're theirs. As much as I may have had a hand in the direction their life took, they are the drivers and I am merely a passenger with lots of directions (hopefully good ones!). So I put those ideas aside and moved on.
In the end, what I settled on was not so much something I've accomplished as something I've become. I've become humble. I've accomplished humility (can you do that?). You see, and this is going to sound distinctly un-humble, I am a natural teacher. I can see it in my 5 year old daughter too - that natural desire to organize people, to help them, to teach them something, to cheer them on as they figure it out. As a high school student, every part-time job I had involved teaching: swim instructor, day camp counsellor, babysitter. Teacher's college was a breeze - even when I made a mistake (like teaching 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication completely wrong), I bounced right back. I had my class divided in to leveled groups for math and reading, taught recorder like a champ (ok, maybe not so much, but recorder? C'mon) and used every technique they gave me like I had used it a hundred times before.
And then I started teaching Learning Assistance. And I realized how little I knew about what it was like to struggle, how little I knew about what it was like to try and help your child do something it seemed they just couldn't do, how little I knew about helping teachers help these struggling little ones. And so I opened my eyes and my ears. I sought out the experts in many, many different fields. I listened carefully to what they had to say. I listened carefully to what the kids had to say. I listened carefully to what the parents had to say. I listened carefully to what the teachers had to say. And I learned that no matter how much I learn, I will never know it all. I will never stop learning and I will never stop listening and I will always, always remember that in the grand scheme of things, I actually know very little.
If you can accomplish humility, than that is my greatest accomplishment.
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!