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Here is a rather deep question...
Old 08-19-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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Here is a rather deep question for all of you. How do you feel your own grade school experience affects the way you teach now? Was your experience good or bad? How do you feel your childhood has helped/hindered your ability as a teacher?

Thank you for your input everyone!


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Old 08-19-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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All of my experiences in school (including when I was older) helped form me into a teacher. I got so many ideas that I use in my classroom to this day from teachers that I have had in the past. I know what activities that I liked and helped me learn, but I also know the activities that I didn't think helped students learn. I also have learned how to act and how not to act. Having a few crabby teachers in my day, I realized that being crabyy in teaching doesn't really help to get the kids behave. In fact, the students in my grade misbehaved more for the crabby teachers than they did for the nicer ones.
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school experiences
Old 08-19-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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I rather enjoyed school--at pretty much every age--loved the work, enjoyed the teachers (weird kid), even looked forward to studying for tests.
I think I ended up teaching 6th because i admired my 6th grade teacher so much (looking back, i don't know why, i don't think she was really that special, but she really clicked with me--and, i think, most kids in the class)

I heard (in some teacher ed class a million years ago) that most people have 1 inspirational teacher--i was blessed to have had SEVERAL awesome teachers! many things that i do and activities that i do with my class some of my teachers did!

I do think that since i was such a good-two-shoes student that has colored my ability to empathize with the students who don't like school. but i do realize that not all kids love school, so i work hard at finding things their good at and enjoy doing.

Last edited by Unregistered; 08-19-2005 at 06:34 PM..
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I'm influenced, definately
Old 08-19-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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I loved school from the minute I set foot in Kindergarten to the day I sobbed through graduation. (College was a different story!) Guess I was fated to spend the rest of my life in school. I had good teachers and bad teachers and that has helped shape my demeanor and style. I had one particular elementary teacher whom I loved and I think I have patterned myself a lot after her.

I, too, am colored somewhat in that I was not only a devoted student but a well-behaved and high achieving one. I want everyone in my class to love school, too, and to do well. As for the first, I can't understand the kid who hates school. As for the second, I think it has given me empathy for those who struggle because I feel badly if they can't feel the success I did. In fact, I am certified to teach special education.

In addition, I am influenced by the fact I had parents who valued education and quietly expected me to do my best without pressuring me to be anything other than myself. My childhood was golden and I want my students to have that, too.

Last edited by Unregistered; 08-20-2005 at 09:14 PM..
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my experience
Old 08-19-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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When I was in school, some kids used to tease me. There were days when I really didn't even want to go to school, even though I loved it. I just hated the feeling of being made fun of. To this day, I look out for the underdogs and the kids who are being teased or left out in any way. I start off every year by telling my kids that I always want my classroom to be a safe place for them--a place where they feel they fit in and feel secure no matter what. I tell them that I can't control every school situation but that in my classroom, we are a family and family members look out for one another always. I share with them some of my experiences and let them know that the reason I became a teacher was to make a better life for kids like that. I always read aloud You Are Special by Max Lucado on the first day of school and the discussion we have sets the tone for the year. It is a wonderful story and most kids are really touched by it.
(I teach 4th grade.)


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How wonderful!
Old 08-19-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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Cathy,
Your post is a wonderful inspiration to me! Thank you!
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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I also really look out for bullying. The only reason that I ever hated school growing up was the kids. They didn't include me and would backstab me all the time. Whenever anyone is mean to someone else in my class, you can bet they won't ever again!
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Why i asked...
Old 08-19-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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Thank you for the replies (I am definitely still open to more!). The reason I asked was because I feel that my own school experience was quite different from what you all described.

As an elementary student myself, I actually got into trouble quite often. I never remember doing ANYTHING that I knew was wrong; I was just mostly misunderstood. I was completely unshy and used to talking to adults and, therefore, didn't understand that first grade classrooms are not a group discussion! My third grade teacher told my parents that he had never heard such a big voice come from such a little girl (hehe). Despite my frequent visits to the hallway, I somehow landed myself into a GT class for 2nd-5th which I struggled most of my way though, not because of the difficulty of the work, but simply because I had more trouble conforming to the school regimine than other kids.

Remembering back, there were years that I still vividly remember many meaningful and interesting activities, and there were some that I can hardly remember at all. My big turning point happened in 5th grade because of a wonderful teacher who was the first to REALLY help me (and some of my friends who were bright, but also had trouble with simple school routines, like remembering to take home your math book). After that, I went on to middle school to become more of the shy, quiet, honor roll student that I would expect many teachers used to be.

I remember actually saying that teachers must be crazy because once I graduated from highschool, I was NEVER going to step foot into a lousey school again... and yet now, I can't think of anything else I want to do more (I'm not actually a teacher yet; I've just re-enrolled in college to switch my career). I would LOVE to teach 5th grade because it was such a wonderful and memorable year (we did so many fun and interesting things!). I want to be that teacher that a student remembers for the rest of their lives, the one who past students come back to for advice, the one that the students in other classes wish they could have because they walk by and see what amazing things we are doing!

I remember what it felt like to have trouble sitting still, being quiet, focusing on math problems when I'd rather be doing science experiments or running around outside, and I hope that because of that, I will be able to relate to and help students who struggle with things like that. I want to try to make my own lesson plans incorporate as many memorable (or even strange) hands on activities that students will really enjoy and probably still remember when they're in their 50s. Anyways, thank you all for replying and listening to my teaching fantasies lol.

P.S. The name of my inspirational 5th grade teacher whom I'll never forget is Mrs. Brady from hinkle creek. I tried to look her up in their directory a few weeks ago, but was disappointed to not find her listed. I'll always remember flying erasers, winning field day, and dressing up as space cadets!
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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Avie,

Thanks for sharing your story. From everything you shared, I can tell that you will be a wonderful teacher. You will be an advocate for kids and I know you will make a difference!! Best wishes to you!!

Cathy
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Avie, your experiences sound familiar...
Old 08-19-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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Very much to MINE. I was a very talkative child. Every parent conferences that my mom can remember was the teacher shaking her head in frustration at my mom like, "Do something with her, will you?!" I was the student that was moved away from everyone. "Easily Distracted" was the general consensus on my report card. I never had problems with other students, just couldn't seem to understand that I was at school to learn...I wanted to have fun. Once graduating from HS, I was so glad to be out of the classroom, I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to be a teacher, much less go to college. These were the days BEFORE diganosing ADHD (which I believe is very strong in my family). This is my second career, and I managed to sit in the front of all my college classes and force myself to focus on what was being said. I laugh at myself now, wondering what possessed me to choose this profession since I hated school. But I do love what I'm doing!


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Old 09-01-2005, 06:04 AM
 
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Yes, my co-workers do affect the way I teach sometimes. I have found over the years that co-workers can hinder your creativity because they want to be on the same page or are in the curriculum. Also co-workers can be mean and give one teacher the cold shoulder and this afects the teaching because it is hard to teach in a place when you do not have support.
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Co-worker's impact
Old 09-03-2005, 08:43 AM
 
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On the flipside of what you said, I think your co-workers can feed and sustain your creativity too. For the first 2 years of teaching, I was the only teacher under 35 and surrounded by bitterness and burnout. For the last two years, we have had some fresh blood come in to the school and instead of feeling ashamed of what exciting activities I was planning, I began to get encouraged and enriched with conversations about activities. I truly believe that your co-worker environment (from the principal to the teachers to the office staff) can make or break your spirit at school.
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yes it has
Old 09-09-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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The things I remember as being painful I avoid like the plague, and the teachers I idolized I am trying to model.
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Old 10-02-2005, 04:38 PM
 
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I can say that I had a rather enjoyable experience in grade school; however, I was extremely shy. So now as a teacher I pick out those students who I see is timid and shy and I make sure never to put them on the spot. I know I use to sweat in my seat just hoping and praying the teacher never called on me and it wasn't because I didn't know the answer, but simply because I would have to talk in front of the class. I'm still like that. Teachers never have to worry about me asking questions during inservices because once again that would require me to have to talk in front of my peers.
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