Thursday, January 7, 2010

My 1st Year of Teaching

I am currently a first year teacher in a high school/middle school setting and I teach Family & Consumer Sciences (aka food science classes, nutrition classes, 7th and 8th grade exploratories, and various classes regarding 21st century skills classes [communication & conflict, career exploration & skills, lifespan development, parenting, financing, etc]).

On Tuesday I started teaching for my second semester. I feel like it has gone really well, thanks to the grace of God. At the end of first semester, while all of my students were taking finals, I took the time to really evaluate myself and how I was really doing as a first year teacher.

Some areas that were going well were in my relationships with students and other staff. This is really important to me, as I gauge a lot of life and how any certain area is going by how my relationships with people are in that particular area. Near the 3/4 mark of the semester some students asked me about my life and God allowed for me to share His Story in my life with a few students, some of which I sensed totally disliked me up to that point. Because of this, I now have really great relationships with these students. The quote, "They don't care what you know until they know that you care!" is absolutely true! God has also given me some great relationships with other staff members, some that are mentors and others that are peers.

An area that I needed to grow in was discipline. I am a people pleaser and sometimes, honestly, I allow things to fall through the cracks in terms of discipline. My principle says that "There is always one leader in a classroom, either you or the students". Sometimes I honestly wasn't. By no means was I horrible and there was never chaos, but as a first year teacher much of what I am about is survival. However, I DO want to improve and through the Proverbs our Father is showing me just how valuable discipline is. I know that honoring Him through discipline with my students now will really help me someday if we ever get to have children of our own.

That to say... here are a few of my rules that now apply in my class (most which have been borrowed from other experienced teachers, of whom I am SO grateful)!

1. If you choose to swear or use language to degrade others, you can choose to pay Mrs. Vint 25 cents by the end of the school day or serve 30 minutes of detention. (Note: I have a "swear jar" on my desk and $ will be used towards classroom materials).

2. If you choose to throw anything or hit people with anything, you can choose to do 25 pushups or serve 30 minutes of detention.

It is a struggle to know how to be merciful and when to be very bold in truth. Oh how I want to be like Jesus.... John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Pictures of my classrooms to come, but Joel is in Chicago and has the camera... and I have a snow day today! Stay warm!

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