The simple answer is WE CARE!
I have a secret. I don’t know if I’m a rare breed, I hope not, who doesn’t get super excited when looking at the curriculum. Creating tests, worksheets etc… does not wake me up in the morning with a smile on my face. Creating unit plans, day plans and amazing, passionate lessons, which I enjoy, do not drive my bus. Technology, which I use to enhance, is most satisfying, but again this is not why I teach. For me, I teach because of the 20+ kids who I give high fives to every morning.
I do not judge a child by their academic standing. I do not look at a child, who seemingly is smarter than myself, and think you have a better chance of success than the child quietly struggling to read a sentence. I do not go home and only brag all the time about a well-behaved and organized student. Conversely, I do not go home in frustration, talking about one child who bounces off all walls.
So what gets me out of bed every morning excited to go to work? Easy, it is that chronic poop disturber, the straight A student, the act one way to your face and another way behind your back kid, the “I can do that for you Mr. D” student, the shaving eraser under the desk kid, the can I stay in at recess for extra help kid, the can I stay in at recess because I don’t have friends on the playground student, the I can shove everything in my desk kid, the have every excuse in the world kid, the always late student, the sit quietly always trying his/her best kid, the kid who has his/her hand up and the kid who does everything for the school. These kids, and every other child type I missed, are why I get up with a smile.
I know, especially as a grade 7 teacher, that after June 30th (or thereabouts) I may never see my amazing kids again. So, I need to make sure that the time we do spend together is memorable. I need to make sure all kids take huge strides in all aspects of their growth. These kids become like my own kids, and I treat them that way. I make sure they are learning to their full ability. I make sure they are enjoying the process of being life-long learners. I ensure they are getting enough physical exercise. I teach them how to persevere. I teach them how to be critical thinkers, and to examine everything by taking different perspectives. I teach them to focus on the strengths they possess and to build off of them. I ask them to enjoy the process of the journey rather than the shame if they don’t succeed. Most importantly, I model and ask them to follow suit, how to be a caring, and respectful citizens that better all lives around them.
I know that when each and every child leaves my room at the end of the year they will spread our values like wildfires. I also know that next September, I get a whole new bunch of children to add to my family! That is the beauty of this wonderful “job”.