It’s the time of year for buying my daughter’s teacher a Christmas gift.
“What does Mr C like?” I ask.
“Good children.” comes the earnest reply.
These are out of stock. But it did start me thinking that between the boxes of quality street and “World’s best teacher” mugs our students will have given us a range of gifts over the year so far. This is fortunate because I have a small class and a number of support staff so we have to share the three boxes of chocolates and one pair of socks.
I am referring only to those gifts that can last a lifetime and impact us and our practice for years to come. Those intangible moments fuel us all the way to the end of term year after year. The gifts, whilst free are earned with time and passion for the job:
Acceptance, now I may be lucky but my students accept me as I am, if I wear odd socks or forget to flatten my hair in the morning they will judge me. When I worked in mainstream once the initial rapport had been made they would accept my bumbling new teacher foibles and generally go with it.
Belief, forgive me for saying rapport again, but once student-teacher trust has been built those students genuinely believe that you, not only have their best interests at heart but are also capable of guiding them on the learning journey. To be believed in is a fantastic feeling.
Creativity, well the opportunity to show your creative side at least. Now I know this doesn’t always work (but i like to keep my blog as positive as possible) but think of those lessons you have crafted to engage, excite and interest your students. How many jobs offer you the chance to use your imagination so effectively?
Development, who else except our own children push us to constantly develop our skills and interests, to get better and better at what we do?
Excitement, the students often bring a sense of excitement to lessons, to school, to the playground. If you work solely in an adult-led industry this is often somewhat lacking. How great is it that each new day holds the possibility of something new, something to be learnt or experienced for the first time?
As challenging as teaching can be it is often rightly described as rewarding. I have only put 5 examples above. Feel free to continue the alphabet in comments or tweet me!