Monday, August 29, 2016

5 Things Students Should Know About Teachers Starting The School Year

I started lesson planning for the start of the school year yesterday. When I start lesson planning, I go into full teacher mode and start thinking about everything I need accomplish from September through June. I was also struck by all of these things and how most students have no idea what teachers are thinking when the school year starts. So, I thought I would write about the 5 Things Students Should Know About Teachers Starting The School Year.

1. We get anxious at the start of school.

I do not mean that we are looking forward to it, I mean we are driven my that awful feeling in our gut that stems from (sometimes) irrational fears. We worry if the students are going to like us or if the lesson plans from last year will work again. We stress about knowing the names of the students and how badly we will pronounce them. Are there going to be new rules that we have to follow? Will I remember them? What happens if I don't? Am I up for evaluation? Is my teaching certificate up to date? Do I have enough PD hours? Are the contract negotiations going well? We get anxious over all of these things and more and it can make getting out of bed tough, but we do it. We do it because, despite all of those things, we love what we do.

2. We believe all of you can be great.

No matter what your skill level, we know that all of you are going to be great in something and we want to help you find that one thing. It could be Science, poetry, photography, drums, or any other thing we can't think of, but you love it with all of your heart and we will help you with it. Some students make it harder on us to be helpful, but we are up to the challenge and will work with all of you so you can move closer to your full potential.

3. We care more about you than your grade.

It's something that all teachers think about. We want to know that all of our students or doing well. Not just at an academic level, but at an emotional and social level. We want school to be a fun and safe place for all students and we worry about the students who do not feel that way about school. Grade are important in one aspect of school, but your overall wellbeing is most important. We love all of our students in a way that only teachers truly understand. You are our kids once you enter the classroom and will be our kids forever after.

4. We are not kidding when we say, "Come and talk to me if you need anything".

We do not say it because we are told to say it (we're not), we say it because we mean it. We want you to know that we are here for you if you need anything at all. It might seem weird to talk to your teacher about personal stuff, but sometimes, we are the best ones to help. It is cliche, but we were teens once upon a time. Man of the issues you are dealing with have happened to all of us. Teachers deal with depression, anxiety, divorce, substance abuse, and other issues in their personal lives because we are people just like you. Please reach out when you need it.

5. We are going to fail you.

I do not mean you will get a failing grade on the essay. I mean that we are going to let you down in some fashion. It is inevitable. We will not do it on purpose, but we will make a mistake, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, because we are human. It breaks our heart knowing that we are going to fail some of you, but we promise to keep trying and make everything as perfect as possible for every student in the classroom. We can only promise to learn from our failures and come back better, smarter, and stronger the next time around. We will always forgive your failures and we hope you will forgive ours.

There are many more things that run through a teacher's head before school starts, but these are just a few that I think of every year that I want students to know. Feel free to add any thoughts you would like students to know in the comment section below.

Have an awesome school year everyone!

Hugs and High Fives,


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