Guest Blog: A teacher’s perspective – Looking Back over the Year
When the end of the year comes around, it always brings a time of reflection. I find the school year moves ahead so fast, that it can almost seem surreal how much things change in just 10 months. I find this to be most true when it comes to the students. There are few things more fulfilling to me than being able to look back and see how much the students have grown as learners and people over the school year.
When classes begin in September, there is a transition period – one that takes a few weeks to work through. Students are getting to know each other, and I am getting to know them. I think of my job as not only to teach the curriculum, but to also take the time to get to know my students as individuals and real people. Getting to know each students interests, needs, and areas of strength is always one of the most exciting aspects of a new class and school year.
Once the transition period is completed, we move into a period of comfortable routine. This usually occurs mid semester, and carries through to the Christmas break. This year, I taught the same class for three periods out of the day – this allowed us to form strong communication skills and allowed the students to feel comfortable in their learning environment. It also allowed me to get to know these students on a level that many teachers do not get to experience. Not only do the students change, I change as well because teaching in a small setting gives me a chance to learn from them. We are able to have discussions interspersed within lessons where students share their personal experiences relating to our topics of study. It fosters a sense of trust and understanding. These are often the moments when I am thankful that I became a teacher, I get the chance to watch these young folks shape their ideas and identities.
The second semester of the school year usually starts off with the same routine, but it always gets a little harder to focus as the weather warms and the end of the school year comes in sight. By this time, students have found their own niche in the class and amongst their friends. Things can be a bit more relaxed than first semester, but the hard work doesn’t end. This year, I was very impressed with the students’ hard work on their displays in the Social Studies Fair. It was such a treat to walk around and chat with the students about their projects. They are often reluctant to share their work, until they get their first visitor and they are able to show off their knowledge and skills. What a sense of accomplishment they must have felt!
But now we are at the end of the school year. Final projects are due, and exams are being written. Our students are on the verge of freedom from early mornings and due dates. This time of year is always met with excitement and accomplishment. I know the students will leave here feeling a bit more confident in their abilities; they will have expanded their knowledge and hopefully, found new interests. They will have learned how to work with their different abilities and carry that knowledge to other aspects of their lives. I will leave this year feeling a sense of pride knowing that the teachers and staff have done their best to prepare the students for the coming years. It has been a wonderful year and (I’m sure) we are all ready for the summer break!
Thanks for a great year!
Senior English/Social Sciences Teacher