What a Teacher Wants

I’m feeling a little lost and out of sorts this week. My student teacher is in her final days in our room which means she is teaching full time, and I am supposed to stay out of the room to give her the full effect of being a teacher.

She is doing a great job, and the kids and I really love her. And yet I can’t help but to feel out of my element. I start my morning in the classroom making sure she has all she needs, and that the kids have all they need, and then like the last guest; I quietly slip away.  

I sit alone at a distant table in our library trying not to get in the way of the coming and going of a busy school day. I check in on the class form time to time, but try not to overdo it.

To keep myself engaged I gather test items that will soon be needed. I make lesson plans, (and life plans). And I work on school related items and professional development. But still, I feel lost.

It’s the school-wide related items that give me pause, and make me unsure. As I sift through things trying to keep busy. I often enter other classrooms or an office to ask a question, or deliver a note. I feel like an intruder, an outsider entering someone else’s realm. The others are teaching, and busy with THEIR kids in their area of expertise and comfort. And I am not.

So I try to busy myself. I am trying to put into action, to categorize and condense goals, and ideas that have been discussed in meetings and conversations. It is my desire to ease their workload, and save us time as a whole when it comes time to implement. But I wonder from reactions; am I overstepping the boundaries or maybe inadvertently stepping on toes?

I sense their resistance, and hesitation at being drawn into things they are unsure of.  I understand their need and want for things to stay the same. Is it the necessity to be “in control?” Or is it a lack of trust in me? My ideas? My judgment?    

Should I just leave everything as it is? Should I not mention my ideas, and forget about the things I feel could help our school community? Or should I continue to forge ahead and shrug off my insecurities? Maybe I should just sit by patiently waiting out my time to return to the classroom.

The irony of it all hits me head on.

Here I am trying to be a role model and teacher for my student teacher; however I am the one feeling the insecurities. I can appreciate what it must be like for her to come into my classroom and want to make it her own, put her mark on it, yet knowing she is only here for a while.  

I can see this from some of my kiddos as well. They walk silently into the classroom at the first of the year. I watch as they scan the room wondering is it ok to venture forth. I perceive in their expressions: “will I be accepted or rejected because of my thoughts, feelings, questions, or ideas?” “Is this really a place for me, is there space for me?” “Do I belong?”  

These are the ones that I give an extra hug to, that I lean into listen as they talk, and who I smile at as they enter the room (ok I do it for all of them). I want them to know, for all my kiddos (and student teacher) to know that there IS space for them. I WANT them to leave their mark (in our room and my heart). I WANT them to know I will listen. I will be open to their ideas and thoughts. I want to wipe away their insecurities with a smile, and give them the gift of time and consideration. I want them to KNOW they belong.

Isn’t that what we all want?


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by the other ruth on March 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Yes! I think it is what we all want, and you have written it so clearly. You articulated something that I have felt many times but was never able to put into words nearly as well as you have done.
    I hope that you do continue to work through the insecurities, to find ways to contribute, and gain some level of comfort in your situation. It’s an interesting perspective to gain–the one where we step out of our usual roles and have the chance to see others (and ourselves) from a new vantage point.


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