“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element of the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, a child humanized or de-humanized.”
Between Child and Teacher by Haim Ginot, 1976
Our words show strong ties to identity and individuality. We bring predetermined ideas into the classroom and once there, these ideas have the ability to evolve. Luckily for us, our experiences reaffirmed our values and expectations.
Walking into practicum there were lots of questions and anxieties, “did I make the right choice for me? Am I meant to be a teacher?”. Stepping into the classroom and in front of the class, I think many of us developed a sense of relief! “YES! This is right! This is what I am meant to do and where I am meant to be”. Insecurities melted away with every lesson and every interaction with students and staff. I am in the right place for the right reason and I feel relief. My experience in the classroom was inspiring because I realized that each of my students have something to bring into the classroom. It inspires me to use my role as a teacher to support and develop my students’ abilities and talents within the classroom. All the amazing challenges, experiences and growth that occurred during my two week practicum was the beginning of my transformation from student-teacher to the vocation of teaching! When describing myself, a teacher is one of my first descriptors listed. It is a part of my identity, and I will pursue this in a very different way than anyone else; one that is entirely unique to me. At no point will I fake any aspect of myself with my students or my colleagues, and through this, I have found to be the most successful teaching strategy is to be genuine. Genuinely you.
Through this experience, being welcomed into the community of the classroom and the school, my perspective of myself as a teacher was redefined.