So you ask, “Mr. Goodier, are you a good teacher yet?”
This is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I still fall asleep within thirty seconds of getting in bed. I still feel like I’m surviving minute to minute, day to day. A year ago, the five months from January to May seemed to go by in an instant. Now, the five months until school lets out feels like a lifetime away.
That being said, I can’t tell you how different my classroom feels and how much better I feel as a result.
You see, things in my classroom just feel different now.
And it shows when you step into my room.
I’m no longer writing referrals. I don’t have to kick kids out of the class anymore. I’m not giving desperate, long-winded lectures anymore to try to get kids to listen. Now, when I give directions, most of the students hear me and get started. Those that don’t are quickly rerouted and we’re spending exponentially more time on task now. The kids are reading and writing at an unprecedented level. If something doesn’t work, I don’t get (as) frustrated. Whereas earlier I would’ve chastised the students for not working hard enough or trying hard enough, I try to think of a different way to explain it. And for the most part, the kids listen.
They’re finally starting to give feedback and self-motivate. They’re able to recognize a big goal that they want to accomplish. They (mostly) respect me and feel that I’m looking out for them. My lessons are aligned, both to their test and to what they’re doing in their other class next door.
Am I a good teacher?
At least, not yet.