Today was one of those "ah - ha" moments in my life, and I guess in teaching as well. I realized, and now, bear with me, because this just sounds foolish!.... I am an adult, a teacher, and a pretty darned good one at that. Recently we hired a new special ed teacher to fill the half time position that has been floated thru by several subs this year (what a mess!) She is working on her LD endorsment, and is also the parent of one of my students. I have to admit that I was somewhat nervous abotu having her in my classroom one hour of the day. I am hmmm... shall we say a wee bit unconventional. THis lady, is very nice, but very proper - wears a dress all the time, has her hair rolled just perfectly, prim and proper in every sense of the words. Her daughter is an amazing over-achieving perfectionist, a teacher's dream. I was afraid this teacher would think me just toooo bizarro world to relate to me, so I was somewhat hesitant when the special ed director for our district asked me to be her mentor and supervisor for her while she finishes her degree and teaches at the same time.
Still I agreed to do the mentoring and supervising..
It has gone well! She has been here for 2 weeks and it has been a hellish ride at best for her with MEAP (state-wide assessment) week, snow days, challenging students, you name it.... But today, as I gave my kids their first "FREE DAY" all year, they were playing board games, and she and I talked - she asked tons of questions about kids, parents, teaching, etc... I tried to answer the best I could, with an almost apologetic "But don't ever feel you have to take my advice - I know I tend to be a bit uconventional." And she then complimented me - how wonderful I am :-) and then told me I need to observe her teach - we discussed me observing her Guided Study class but she would rather teach a math class one day - I suggested a week or a unit but she insists on one day, because she does not want to deprive them a "veteran teacher".
I don't know - I guess it really is not that big of a deal... but I just suddenly felt old and mature and responsible!! and she proceeded to tell me the things I do well... I think I need her as much as she needs me!
It is not that I am insecure - I truly feel I touch my students and help them learn and be successful... but her comments and insecurity about teaching around me was such a boost to my ego!
and for those who may read this and don't know me... I am such a goof ball most of the time - like my 7th graders.... I don't think of myself as in a leadership role, so when these moments happen... it is like a big surprise! Like the day our superintendent told me he thought I was "principal material". I just still feel like I am learning to teach, learning to lead... learning to learn. How can I be the ROLE MODEL?? or is that the key?? We are all, always learning and growing? hmm...
and yesterday... another beautiful moment - as I was grading math quizzes on finding perimeters and areas.... a note on the top of one, "I love you Mrs. George" with a heart with an arrow thru it... and that alone would make my heart melt, but the student who wrote it... Chris - 2nd year in 7th grade... nothing but trouble last year and most of the first 2 marking periods this year - broke into 7th grade store at least twice last year... always in trouble and school - dealing with court system - on probation - doing community service .... and he ACED THE TEST TOO!!! 93% absolutely awesome!!! I think he turned in more work to me this past week than he did all year last year (SERIOUSLY!!!) what a remarkable change - sometimes, we do make a difference.... and I wrote a note back - I love you too Chris :-)
good days.... good stuff... I do love my job, I really do!