Um: What Is Teaching?

Is it okay to say that I really don’t know what I am doing when it comes to student teaching? It is a whole new world to me. A world where I actually go every day, where I am planning for every half hour of every day, where all the students will soon be my responsibility- where I am no longer a student anymore.

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But wait, isn’t it called “student” teaching?

Yeah, I know, but think about it: yes I am being mentored by an amazing woman, yes I am surrounded by a wonderful community that will catch me when I fall, but still I will soon be in charge of it all. I will soon have almost the entire day to myself, every lesson will be written by me, and every student will be my responsibility. And I think that is what no longer makes me a student: that I am responsible for a good 15 kiddos now.

15 kids that are relying on me to help them succeed. 15 kids who are relying on me to lead them through every tough math problem or sucky spelling word (words do not always follow the “rules” let me tell ya. Sometimes phonics has nothing to do with it).

But what makes me not totally freak out at that thought is the fact that I am here, typing this post, on my college campus, for my last ever semester of college. It is the fact that I serve a God bigger than my weaknesses, who decided to use me even in my fear and doubt. It is the fact that I love those kids more than they will ever know, and I haven’t even met them all yet.

There is one more thing that keeps me from falling flat on my face, and it is this:

…it’s not about the lesson plan. It’s not about the fancy stuff we teachers make — the crafts we do, the stories we read, the papers we laminate. No, that’s not really it. That’s not what matters most…. it’s about being there for your kids. Because at the end of the day, most students won’t remember what amazing lesson plans you’ve created. They won’t remember how organized your bulletin boards are. How straight and neat are the desk rows. No, they’ll not remember that amazing decor you’ve designed. But they will remember you….

…we want our students to think we’re the very best at what we do and we believe that this status of excellence is achieved merely by doing. But we forget- and often. Excellence is more readily attained by being. – Pursuitofajoyfullife.com

This teacher reminded me of a beautiful truth: yes teaching is a lot to handle, it is a lot of responsibility, and it is stressful on more than one occasion, but that is not what it is about. Teaching is about being the teacher. It is about being a role model for your students, being a loving smile, and always having a compassionate attitude. Being a teacher is about being there for your students when no one else is.

So that is my goal, to just be there. To just show up and love those kids because they deserve it.

Here’s to 7 more weeks here and 9 more weeks there.

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See you soon,

Stephanie Lynn

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