What was your moment?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teaching4God, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2010

    I am not sure if this should be here or on the "chitchat" board, but was there a specific moment when you thought to yourself, "I am a good teacher" or did that just kind of come from within?
     
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  3. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Seriously I was five. I was in first grade and every day after school I went home and taught my younger brother and sister how to read and do math. They were both fluent readers before they ever started school.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jan 9, 2010

    When I was in undergrad, a professor kept trying to convince me that I wanted to be a tutor in the math lab. I kept resisting, and he kept campaigning. What finally got through to me was when he said, "I can see your logic, not mine, on your classmates' tests." I will always be appriciative of that professor. My experiences as a tutor helped make me the teacher I am today.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2010

    My moment occurred almost exactly two years ago.

    In 2006, my ex told me she wanted out of our marriage after 13 years.
    In 2007, my father passed away after a year of declining health.
    In 07/2007, I changed jobs and got (what I thought) would be the "secure" job I would have until retirement, but this was also when dad's condition became critically worse.
    On 01/04/08, I was terminated from my "secure" job after only 4 months, in which I received almost no training.
    On 01/09/08 (two years ago today), I became extremely ill and had to be hospitalized. This led to major surgery. Complications led to a second surgery. Complications from that surgery led to a 3 day coma (and administration of Last Rites).

    I spent 4 weeks in ICU recovering and another 2 weeks in a regular room before I could come home. I have a chronic illness and had 5 major surgeries prior to this, but never had to be in the hospital that long. I had nothing but ice chips and water to eat for 31 days.

    During my recovery in ICU, the nurse brought a huge manilla envelope in one day. I had no idea what was in it. When I opened it, I found hand-made Get-Well cards from all the T&T AWANA students at my church (I taught the boys class).

    The very first thing I pulled out was little card describing the attributes of a good teacher! I had considered a teaching career for years, but my ex always said we didn't have the time or money for me to take the extra classes needed for licensure.

    I knew God was telling me "It's time". You don't have any more excuses. This is why I put you here.
     
  6. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Cerek, I love your story. I am actually trying to find my identity in Christ. I think up until this point I just settled for whatever. I want to know for sure.
     
  7. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Cerek- I too recently spent a long time in the hospital and had major surgery (not as much as you have been through though!) It definitely made me reevaluate where I was going in life and what God's plan was for me. Interesting how positive things come out of the darkest of times. I'm glad you are okay and teaching!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2010

    It's not ONE moment for me...it's a series of moments, day after day of reflecting on my work, engaging in dialog with other professional educators and facilitating learning for my students. It's the hugs I get from my students when I come back from a 'sub' day, the thank yous I get from parents...It's being selected to mentor new and student teachers...It's being asked to serve on committees that impact student learning...It's the a-ha moments, the child improving in reading fluency and comprehension who came in as a struggler... It's never resting on my laurels, but continuing to learn and to improve my practice...it's earning it every day.
     
  9. teaching4God

    teaching4God Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2010

    czacza how long have you been teaching?
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2010

    13 years.
     
  11. Lionteacher

    Lionteacher Companion

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Over the course of teaching there are days I feel like I am the greatest thing ever. However I have always loved teaching and working with children since I was small.

    Czaza I love your story, its great that you followed your dream.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2010

    I've had a number of big moments--one of the first when a parent called me one day solely to say, "Thank you for deciding to be a teacher." I also have small moments every week when I am laughing with my students, when a colleague comes to me for advice, when a student finally "gets it", when former students come back for a visit. Teaching is what I have always wanted to do; I can't imagine doing anything else.
     
  13. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jan 9, 2010

    I has always felt that I did not choose to teach; teaching chose me. I consider it my gift from God. Even through my most stressful moments, I cannot imagine doing anything else. I know that I have second guessed myself,and I sometimes wonder why I am still doing this, but through it all, I keep prevailing.
    Several moments come to mind, but most recently, a former student of mine contacted me via email to tell me that she was in her senior year of college, and in one semester, she would be a teacher also. She went on to tell me that one of her last assignments was to write a paper describing the reasons she went into teaching. She told me that the paper was about me. I cried. I clearly remember this young lady, and that is when I realized that I make a difference.
    I still keep in touch with her.
     
  14. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Thank you sharing your wonderful story.
    :)

     
  15. amochoa

    amochoa Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2010

    This year is my first year and I've had several.
    -My P.E. students telling me that I'm the best P.E. teacher ever and that the 5th graders wish I would be their P.E. teacher when they go to middle school.

    -One of my preschooler's parent telling me that she wishes all of teachers that her son will have in the future be like me.

    -My principal and colleague telling me I am a great teacher all around and I know the true meaning of teaching. (This is after the public schools bribed me with $15,000 to quit the private school I'm teaching at to become a para there. I stayed with the private school where I teach preschool and p.e.)
     
  16. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Like cz said it has been a series of moments. In 4th grade when I was allowed to tutor while the teacher had her cigarette. I liked it then. My 3rd week teaching middle school math when the baddest kid thanked me for the help he had never gotten (his words and a handshake). My best friend (k teacher ) telling me I had it. My colleagues selecting me (the PE teacher) TOY of the year two times. And hundreds of kids telling me in actions words smiles hugs etc..........
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2010

    Congrats, PE...You've been recognized as outstanding by those who know (colleagues) and those who matter (students) :thumb::2up::clap:
     
  18. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I'm still not sure I would qualify myself as a "good teacher" - most days I just see what I could have done better.

    I worked in daycare after college and for a lot of the employees-they were babysitters-the kids would just play all day and there I was checking out library books every week to read and do lessons with them, making lesson plans, making workstations. I felt like I was really making a difference with those young minds.

    Or the first time a staff member at my school asked to have their kid in my class-they basically are the only parents who really get a say where to put their kids-it means a lot when they choose to put them with me.
     
  19. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I have had several of those "Aha!" moments, and I treasure each one. The most recent one occurred last week.

    Social studies is one of my favorite disciplines, and I always try to really bring it to life and make it exciting for my students, using examples to relate it to their lives.

    During a recent social studies lesson I was explaining what historical records are. I mentioned Anne Frank and her diary as an example of a historical record that was created by a child.

    Apparently the students were impressed, because the next day in class, several of them had various books about Anne Frank and were reading them to the other students. Now, they are each creating their own diaries in class as an enrichment.

    Although our lesson plan was not about Anne Frank in general, it made me feel great that I had struck that spark of interest to such a degree.
     
  20. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jan 10, 2010

    That does show how respected you are!
     
  21. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Jan 10, 2010

    Years ago, I used to have this JR high student that got on my nerves. She was bossy, manipulative, a liar, and constantly would get into power struggles with me, and try to rally the other students on her side. I usually responded by kicking her out of class, which usually ended up with her refusing to leave, and making a huge spectacle of herself before she would finally exit the room. Although I knew getting into a power struggle with her was a bad idea, I felt I HAD to in this case, because she would try to rally the troops behind her, and if I didn't get into that struggle, I would soon have 12 versions of this student, instead of just one. At one point, I couldn't stand to even look at this kid. Just seeing her would ruin my day. Several times, I would go home, and realize that maybe I overreacted and got caught up in the power struggle, and planned to pull back some of the consequences that I had given her earlier that day (and this DEFINITELY was the correct thing to do). Of course, before I could even talk to her the next morning, she would announce to the class "Shoot, Mr Sam can't make me do anything... I'm not leaving..." and then I would be forced to continue with some of the consequences that I had planned to remove that day. Again, it wasn't so much about her, but about showing the rest of the students who was in charge, and keeping order with them. I removed Bertha* from class, and laughed, and told her that I had realized that I had overreacted, and was going to allow her back in class, but her announcement made it difficult to do now. We talked about the message that would be sent to the other students if I allowed her to remain in class after her announcement, and she laughed, and agreed. I kept her out of class for a while, and let her return, and she behaved for that day. Our battles were far from over. We had laughs, but lots of battles as well, and she still got under my skin, and my day was still usually ruined when I would see her. Then something happened that changed my perspective on her (and all "difficult" students) forever...

    I work at a residential facility, and one day Bertha and her group of girls went to the store, which isn't unusual at all. When they came back, Bertha brought me back a Coke (I am pretty addicted to coke, and drink it in class all the time). I thanked her, and didn't think much of it, since the residential staff often brought me a Coke or an ice cream, or whatever they were getting, as a thanks for the work I do in crisis management. I called the unit a few minutes later and spoke to staff, and the conversation went like this:

    Sam: Hey, thanks for the coke, that really hit the spot... Do I know you anything for it?

    Staff: No, we didn't get it, Bertha did.

    Sam: What? Did the unit buy drinks, and she just give me hers? That was nice of her...

    Staff: No, she bought it with her own money.

    Sam: huh?

    Staff: she bought it with her own money.

    Sam: Really, what else did she get?

    Staff: Nothing. Before we went to the store, she asked to open the safe, got out exactly enough money to buy you a soda, and closed the safe. That's all she bought. We thought she owed you a soda or something. She just said "I'm going to buy Sam a Soda."

    Sam: Oh. Wow. She doesn't owe me a soda. I am just as surprised as you are...

    It was then that I realized maybe I am better at what I do than I think I am. It let me know that what I had been doing was actually working, even when it didn't feel like it was. And, I think more importantly, I never looked at that student, or any other "difficult" student, in the same manner ever again. I knew that student for about three more years after that, before she moved on, and I never heard from her again.
     
  22. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I have to say for me, too, it wasn't one defining moment. It's taken years (I've been teaching 5 years) and only in the last year or so do I really feel, hey, I'm GOOD at this.
     
  23. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Jan 10, 2010

    When I came out of college, I began teaching for about 4 years. Circumstances changed and I left teaching. Many years later, I came back to teaching. At that time, it was difficult to find a rull time teaching job so I did some subbing. I would do just about any sub job including sped which I really didn't want to do. For this small school district, that particular year there were several resource sped LTS positions which I took. One of them was for middle school for two grades. I thought the sub was going very well and I found I really liked doing this. One of my last days, a para came up to me and said that she wished that I could stay. I said well the regular teacher will be back in a few days. No, she said, I wish that you would stay as the teacher. She did recess duty and told me that when I was there the kids were so different. Before I had come, they were just standing around on the "outside" but when I came, she said that she couldn't even tell which were the resource kids and which were the "normal" kids. It really made me think that I HAD made a difference. Needless to say, I got my sped endorsement and hopefully I continue to make a difference in the lives of the kids I teach.
     
  24. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    Jan 10, 2010

    I am in my first year of teaching and with every fiber of my being I know that I was born to be an teacher and this is exactly where I am supposed to be.

    Like many have said it started young but I guess the moment where I thought wow I must be doing something right was when the other teachers assumed I must have been a 3rd or fourth year teacher because I seemed to have such control of my class. It was so nice to hear from Colleagues I respect and admire that they already thought so highly of me. My P said she could see me being a master teacher with in a few years .....the positive feedback brought tears to my eyes! I am truly blessed!
     
  25. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Jan 11, 2010

    My two year old is bertha right now. I have to say no most of the day and she goes batty each time. I will be glad when the phase passes. Interestingly, my five year old is the opposite now. He covers his ears when she goes off and tries to help now but I digress. I had those Bertha moments my first year. I would be so mad at some kids and one day I found out about their REAL lives. It became apparent to me that many were doing well to put one foot in front of the other much less succeed in school and appear socially
    normal. I have found the more I know about a kid the better I can
    work with them.
     

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