Monday, June 30, 2014

how being a parent is helping me become a better teacher...

Working with children has been my passion for my entire life.  I love teaching!  As I’ve been reflecting on this past school year, I’ve realized that parenting Ben has given me a fresh perspective on the classroom experience.   We have been beyond pleased with Ben’s teachers and his school.  In fact, these things have been modeled all year by his teachers.  This list is NOT a reflection on his classroom experience.  It’s a reflection on my own classroom through the eyes of a parent. 
So here goes…in no particular order…here are 9 things that have become increasingly important to me as a teacher:

1.       The need for movement is non-negotiable.  I’m excited about GoNoodle and organizing a youtube playlist  that will help me with brain breaks for the kids. 

2.       Homework is harder than I realized.  I’ve never really been a fan of homework - kids work hard all day and really need time at home to just be kids.  But working with my own tired child at the end of the day has given me a new appreciation for how this routine really impacts the entire family dynamic. 

3.       ARD meetings (and parent conferences) are intimidating!  I am blessed to work alongside Ben’s teachers and therapists as both colleagues and friends.  I have participated in countless ARD meetings as a teacher.  But it is quite a different experience as a parent. 

4.       It’s not the parents’ fault.  It is easy to say, “If only those parents would…” but in reality there are many factors in a child’s progress.  Remaining positive about the entire family will benefit the child.

5.       Kids are, for the most part, giving you their best.  This goes along with the previous one.  When I’m positive, they will push themselves even further.  That momentum will cause me to find even more ways to meet their needs.

6.       Accommodations require creativity and consistency.  If I want my students to be their best, I need to be at my best for them.  Thinking outside the box to help kids experience success is important. 

7.       One on one attention must be a top priority.  I’m outnumbered!  Getting to know each individual child's strengths and weaknesses is the only way to ensure success. 

8.       Recess is the most important part of his day and what happens on the playground matters.  I’m amazed at how many times Ben talked about playground activities and its effect on his overall perception of himself and his day. 
9.   Kids need to be loved first.  Relationships are the most important part of the classroom experience.
I'm not really sure how this post fits in this blog, but it feels right to share.  This list certainly doesn't suggest that I've somehow become an expert in the classroom.  I have so much to learn.  It also isn't complete...I think I could write forever.
Ben's academic experience is as important as the medical stuff when it comes to figuring out all things Doose. 
What are some things you wish your child's teacher understood?

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