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Two Writing Teachers
Don't write it.
If I write it, I might fix it.
If I write it, I have admitted failure.
I don't like failing.
What will others think of me?
These are the words that have weighed heavy on my heart for quite some time.
There are so many posts, tweets, and articles written about the importance of relationships between teachers and their students. Just go to Katherine Sokolowski's blog, Read, Write, Reflect, and you will find many posts to read on this subject.
I believe in relationships. I know relationships are the center of the classroom, and everything else revolves around them and evolves from them.
Seven years ago I was a college graduate for the second time. Late that summer I had an interview at the school where I worked as an aide and a substitute teacher and where my own children attended. There was a problem - a new principal. He did not know me and was not aware of the time I had spent with the children at this school as a parent and as an employee. He had not seen my relationship with those students.
At the end of the interview I was asked why he should hire me, and my answer was this:
"I love kids. It's all about the kids. If you don't love kids, then you shouldn't be a teacher"
Knowing my principal now, I am convinced those words were the reason I was hired. He is an it-is-all-about-the-kids kind of principal, and I admire him for that. That is our philosophy.
This year I have struggled with relationships. I teach reading and writing to my homeroom and three sections of 4th grade math. I have a terrific relationship with my homeroom and one of the other classrooms. We have connected on many levels. That is evident when someone walks into my classroom.
The problem is with the third class. I have not been able to build that relationship with them. It is not one certain student - it is the mixture of the class. There are many behavior issues, and I am just exhausted mentally and emotionally after they leave. To be completely honest, I don't enjoy teaching that class like I do the other two.
Because of this, I feel like I have failed them and have failed as a teacher. I know I am very hard on myself, especially when I go back and read Katherine's posts on relationships. I do not have those connections with this class.
I know relationships and connections matter. I get that!
But what do I do when those relationships are just not there? How do I reach them? How do I not feel like a failure?
I wrote it...now I just need to fix it.