Thoughts of a Teacher  I

I wrote this reflection a while ago…..I just went back to revisit it.  I’m going to split it into parts.   Not sure if it’s any good but I found it cathartic.

When considering the needs of the classroom environment,I have to give accolades to anyone who bears in mind the importance of “Good Morning”  or “Good Afternoon”  “Ladies and Gentleman” and “Boys and Girls.”  I’m impressed with any who can approach  29-37 different critics every 45 minutes.  I’m even slightly impressed by people who can  attempt to do it, a year, or few months of their lives.  Imagine a broadway actor performing multiple one matinees- back to back.   Or watching a Diane Walters delivering the news interactively, and then being responsible for the graphics and the updates.  Every person who enters the classroom and calls themselves a teacher is suddenly a performer who might have to walk a high wire, but maintain a smile for the audience.  Despite frustrations that may arise, it’s important that we keep a positive environment facilitated.

When every day is full of new attitudes and  memos, or late buses, or apathy, It’s taken a lot of guesswork how to keep my stress from being palpable .  The disparity between what my chosen career that I’ve accepted, and what I find when I get to most schools now has irony written all over it.  As it is, I wake up and figure out some way to completely backwards plan a lesson with a group of kids with unspecified grade levels, and keep it interesting but not too interesting that any random evaluator doesn’t think its slacking off.  I mean, the first judges are those next to the time clock.   Those office people so often sullen.  Not only do I have to smile and get them to notice me.  I also have to figure out a way to sell that it ‘s gong to be a great day for me, for the birds, them school office slavers, and ultimately the kids. It is because of such organizational and radical uncertainty that I prefer not to work with younger students.    With it’s a one man show, and they all want autographs.  Unless they don’t because they are too busy getting ready to perform the knife throwing acts!   All these things race through my head before GMA or the Today Show roll credits, and a 9-5 worker has even bid their sweet dreams goodbye are large plates that each part of the meal (the school day) rests way too much upon their classroom teacher.

While Guest Teaching (substituting) a few years back, I accepted a call for a special education spot, and while it was not disastrous,  had there been another hour in the school day, it would have been overwhelming .  I had done my research on reviews for the school, and saw that they had a lot of CTT, and Resource Room Classes.  I had assumed that since my designation was Special Education that I would be the assistant, or lackey to the general education teacher.  I imagined that I would drift, and make sure learning was focused, and that different kids who seemed lost could be re –directed into another direction towards understanding.  What I found in actuality that occurred was that the classroom teacher may have had a dual certification, because there were tons of differently abled learners in the class.

[Continued in Part II]



Chester Kent