Often, at the end of the day I come home and think about whether my day was a success or a failure. Whether I am a success or a failure as a teacher and whether my students succeeded or failed today. The people that know me best would tell me that I am being to hard on myself…that I am doing a noble thing by teaching in Northern Saskatchewan…that I am a success and am doing a great job. While I am thankful that I have a great support network, I have some doubts about this. Do I think I have the potential to be a great teacher? Absolutely. Am I right now? No.
It is not enough for me to just be here. I didn’t become a teacher to just be at a school…I became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of my students. My students deserve the best teacher I can be, regardless of where I am teaching. Being in Northern Saskatchewan does not mean that I can be a subpar teacher…if anything it means I have to be a better teacher so that I can reach students that speak a different language, that are a different race, that have a different cultural background, and that have a very adversarial attitude towards school and the people in a school.
Many teachers leave their posting with this school after a short period of time, staying to a second year is a rarety. Maybe it has something to do with the joy, or lack thereof, that Dean Shareski talks about in his blog post, Robbing Students and Teachers of Joy…I am not sure. What I do know is that I want my students to feel joy when they walk into my classroom and I want to feel joy when I walk into my classroom. I want to be part of the solution, I want to make changes that will give my students a better education and ultimately a better life.
I have questions though, how do I make this happen? How can I make changes? What types of changes will exact the most impact? How do you being joy back into a class that have not experienced much success in school and a class where most of the students dislike school? I know there will be no concrete answer and I am searching for what will work for me. Hopefully, I can find the beginnings of an answer before I lose my students or lose the teacher that I want to be.