So I was going to wait a while after writing my first blog post, but the one you are about to read basically explains why I want to be a teacher.
Through my observations and time teaching in the classroom thus far, I have concluded that one of the secrets to teaching is building meaningful relationships with students. That is, teachers should show an interest in their students, share information, as well as their own experiences, and work diligently to pursue and cultivate positive interactions.
I am currently student-teaching in a 6th grade classroom (U.S. History to 1865). During the first week of my placement, I shared a PowerPoint presentation that I made to introduce myself to my students and tell them a little bit about my life.
One of the facts that I shared with them is that I studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador during high school, and ended up returning there during the summer of 2015 to work as a volunteer. As I was describing my favorite aspects of Ecuadorian culture, a hand shot up. It belonged to a boy who we’ll call J. Smiling excitedly, J announced that his whole family was from Ecuador. At this point in my presentation, I was in the middle of describing how much I loved Ecuadorian food and cooking in general . J nodded vigorously, agreeing with me that it is indeed delicious.
Let’s fast forward to about a week ago when I received this email from my cooperating teacher. It has been redacted to protect privacy:
This was one of the most wonderful emails I have ever received (my acceptance letter to W&M is also in this upper echelon), and is special on several levels. First, it reminds me how lucky I am to have such a fantastic, insightful, and talented cooperating teacher showing me the ropes. It also reveals that many parents appreciate their children’s teachers and are involved with their children’s education. Lastly, this email is encouraging because it shows me that my efforts to build relationships with my students have been, at least in the case of J, successful.