Having a student teacher has been really beneficial to me because it has made me stop and think in more depth about the why's to how I do things.
When she asks questions, I can't just do the teacher version of the old parent stand by, "Because that's the way I do it!" and expect that to help her become a better teacher. Well, I could do that but that would make me a pretty crappy sponsor teacher (not to mention just not a very nice person in general!)
I have had to think a lot about my philosophies around education and learning. My reasons for teaching decisions I make every day. Things like, why do I prefer small group teaching to whole class most of the time? Or how do I know where each child is in their learning? Or what do I do with the student who NEVER stops talking?
I am so very grateful that this experience is helping me grow as a teacher and mentor while also helping my student teacher grow. What a win-win situation!
Some big thoughts and ideas are coming up for me. So, I thought I'd share a few I've had about teaching and children ... in no particular order (well, except for the first point, which is essentially the philosophy that underlies each and every teaching decision I make. It forms the backbone of my teaching practice. I do my very best to live this philosophy every day. And, I won't lie, there are days that it is hard to do but those are usually the days that I need to love more not less!)
...without love their can be no learning.
...we need to remember that our children have been on this amazing planet for only a few short years and LET THEM BE KIDS!!!!
...arts education (visual arts, drama, music, dance) is absolutely fundamental to learning.
...creativity is the root of happiness.
...I can do anything if I really, really want it.
...I need to be real with the lovelies in my class each year (there are days when this means crying in front of them - other days when it means doing cartwheels in the gym!)
...I need to keep learning and trying new things. With stagnation comes boredom and no learning!
...to forgive (and really mean it) is one of the most important lessons a person can learn.
...the love I get back from my lovelies can make problems in my life feel that much smaller
...we need to look at the big picture more often and not nit pick our kids over each and every little thing
...learning means making mistakes (lots of them!)
...reading can cure just about anything - loneliness, sadness, depression, anger, you name it and the right book can help!
...having a lovely leave my class loving school is more important than having every single aspect of the curriculum drilled into them.
...children who are happy learn better.
...laughter is one of the most important things in life.
...watching Kid President makes me appreciate everything more (and his giggle, oh my goodness, it makes me laugh with him. I love it! See note above!)
...the old saying about sticks and stones is a bunch of hogwash. Words hurt. It's important to remember that!
...a lot of the anxiety we see in our children these days is from external sources putting unnecessary pressure on them (refer back to the LET THEM BE KIDS! comment)
...I can always find something positive in a situation and, if I think I can't, then I need to look again!
...I am grateful for each new day in my life.
...I have the best job in the world!!!!!