Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE teaching 7th graders? I do. My students absolutely make my day, every time. Even if I'm in a really rotten mood, it never fails that at least one of them will say or do something that either makes me shake my head in wonder, smile, or outright crack up.
I love trying to find out what they really think of me. I'm a strict teacher. For instance, I have an expectation that the beginning of class is the moment I walk into the room after the tardy bell rings. That moment should be one of complete silence which will continue until after I've taken roll and officially started our classtime. There is to be no blurting out or no noise of any kind during that sort of "sacred" beginning time of the class period. I was (and still can be if necessary) somewhat of a tyrant about it at the beginning of the year as I was establishing routines and procedures.
However, after I've officially started the class, I am a very open-minded sort of teacher who will listen, help, and generally do whatever I need to do in order to help students learn. They know this. By this point in the year, the students understand and even value my expectations for classroom behavior. I do still comment occasionally, "this is not the Jerry Springer show, if you have something to add to the conversation, raise your hand!"
When I was out last Friday, part of the assignment I left with the substitute teacher was for each student to write 3 sentences describing Ms. Whitley. I've gotten such a kick out of reading these and I want to share some of them.
"Ms. Whitley is one of my favorite teachers because I can understand what she is saying. She will also help us if we need help."
"Ms. Whitley is a great teacher, in fact, she can teach well. She is the only teacher that will talk about anything."
"Ms. Whitley is going through a divorce and is seeming to hold up very well. I think she is an amazing teacher and the funniest one at our school."
"Ms. Whitley is a very strong and extreme woman."
"Ms. Whitley is controlling in a good way. She teaches us many things. She never gives up on us."
"Ms. Whitley is as nice as a bunny."
"Ms. Whitley is very full of energy and never a negative person."
"Ms. Whitley has alot of coffee just to stand our shenanigans."
"Ms. Whitley has many very common pet peeves."
"Ms. Whitley looks young for her age." (automatic A for this student)
"Ms. Whitley is the most wonderful teacher of all. She makes me feel good inside."
And here is my favorite....
"Ms. Whitley is a caring person who only has our interest in mind. Above all, she is such a great teacher, I actually want to come to school."
I love teaching.
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