This is the ninth part of my Reflection Series for 2017 – a self-reflection of my teaching this year.
When was a time this year when you felt joyful and/or inspired about the work that you do?
So many times!
All of those little successes – like students working together even though they ‘don’t like each other’, students passing who hadn’t passed that subject before, getting a thank you for a well-organised resource, chats with students while on play ground duty… the list goes on and on!
One of the shining moments for me though was a conversation with my second pre-service teacher. We often talked about how kindness is so important to students – it’s the one key thing they are after in a teacher. This is particularly true at a school with a relatively low socio-economic status. If you can consistently show kindness to your students, you’ve half-won any behaviour management issues that might arise, and you’re also being a fantastic role model.
Then my pre-service teacher turned around and said something that warmed me to my core – that she likened me to Miss Honey from Matilda.
She said the way I treated students was so much like that, filled with kindness and care, and that she can see how I try to inject it into all of my interactions with my students.
I had really tried hard all year to be that was as a teacher, after being explicitly told by the students that that’s what they wanted more than anything else. And I can say it did work wonders. I’ve always been relatively good at forming good rapports with my students, but this year I did notice a distinct difference. The rapports built much more quickly and deeply than I’d been able to achieve before, and I felt a lot calmer and in better control of my teaching persona.
I encourage you to try infuse your teaching practices this year with kindness. Channel that inner Miss Honey, and see what differences it might make for you!