I had an email yesterday that got me thinking about what I will remember and take from this journey. The more I thought about it the more I realised it will not be the struggles or the feelings of distress I have felt trying to get assignments completed in time for submission. Yes there are lessons that I have learned from these experiences but it is a bit like child birth the pain you endure soon fades and although not forgotten seems trivial or at least worth while to reach the end result.
What I will remember and take with me on my next journey is how I was treated by my mentors and in saying mentors I am including my lecturers as I feel that is exactly what they are. It will be the moments or the gestures from a very select few who have made me feel like I am important and I am not just a number. These are the things that I will remember. For it is these events that stand out and make me realise how important it is as a teacher to recognise a student in a positive manner. I am a believer that there is no such thing as a bad child. If a child is constantly being recognised for their misbehaviour they will soon learn that even if not positive recognition it is recognition and therefore the behaviour will continue.
What I have also learnt is to lead by example. On many occasions I have encountered mentors who teach strategies on how to become a good teacher i.e. listen to your students, get to know your students, let your students have a voice, reflect on what your students say, encourage your students etc. and yet they themselves do not follow their own advice. Which can be very frustrating. If this is how a 44 year old(shhhh 🙂 ) mum of 6 feels I can only imagine how a child feels when their teacher does the same. It is hard enough to have your voice heard or be recognised as being important when you are a kid. Most times positive recognition and signs of importance only come when achievement is made. For example Johnny won the 800m race and so is given accolades and is called out on parade to acknowledge his achievement.
Although I agree Johnny does deserve the accolades I also want to show everyone of my future students that they are just as important in their own special way. This can be achieved in so many ways from just asking how they are going to knowing and caring about their lives outside of the classroom ‘Is your dog’s leg better today Jane?’ By showing them they matter they have a better chance of believing in themselves