Today I Felt Like a Teacher

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | 2 comments »

Today was an interesting day for me. Last week, I asked two classroom teachers if I could come in their room on a daily basis and read to their class. I told them how I missed reading good chapter books to students and since I only saw their classes once a week in the library, reading a chapter book to them was very difficult. Both teachers were very open to the idea, which excited me. In the fifth grade classroom, I'm reading Among the Hidden. It's great - the kids are loving it, I'm enjoying it, and the classroom teacher is as well. The fourth grade class is enjoying The Boys Start the War. Today, I was unable to read to the fourth graders at the normal time because I had another scheduled class. I happened to be walking past the fourth grade room this afternoon and popped in to say hi to the teacher. She asked, "Want to read right now? The kids are driving me nuts." I didn't have any classes scheduled so I grabbed the book and read the next chapter. I finished a few minutes prior to the class heading down to the computer lab. When I asked the teacher what the kids were going to be working on, she gave me a look that pretty much said, "I don't know." I suggested the students bring their spelling words to the lab so they could practice using Spelling City. They came down, I quickly showed how the students should get started and off they went. It was awesome.

I'm not sure why I felt so different today. When I was reading to the fourth grade class, and then transitioned to the computer lab, I really felt like I was back in charge of the students. I don't know why I felt any different. Standing in front of the class and giving directions, with 50 eyes watching and listening to me, I felt like a teacher. I felt like I was guiding this group of students. This was a feeling I have not experienced in some time, perhaps as far back as several years when I taught third grade. It was a good feeling, one I hope to have again soon.

After reflecting on it, however, this feeling brings me mixed thoughts. There have been many occasions that make me wonder if I made the correct choice leaving the classroom a few years ago. On some days, I'm glad I made the change. On others, like today, the feeling I had was one that's been absent. Afternoons like the one I had today made me really miss being a classroom teacher. There are days when I think about what's in my plans for the next few years and I'm confused. Part of me wants to go back to the classroom. Part of me wants to stay right where I am because I'm comfortable, like what I'm doing and who I'm doing it with, am doing a good job (I think), and the position works well for my family right now. There are other days when I think about what else I'd like to do and positions I'd like to hold (all related to technology) some day. I'm sure a decision will be made at some point soon. No matter what that decision is, I won't know if it's the right or wrong one until I make it. Regardless of that decision, today was fun.

2 comments

  1. Beth Holmes // October 23, 2008 at 11:20 PM  

    Hi, Chad,
    I am convinced that teaching is a calling. Obviously, you are called to teach. As you make your career decisions, realize that you will find opportunities to teach and learn in many types of positions. The audiences and subjects may change - but the "teacher in you" will always be most satisfied when engaged in teaching and learning with others. Whatever your job options, examine the position for opportunities to "teach" AND learn. For most teachers, the need to learn and grow is essential. You are wise to recognize the mistake of migrating too far from your calling. Keep us posted on your progress in making this decision!

  2. Tara // December 2, 2008 at 1:45 AM  

    chad, thanks for commenting on my TLC blog. I'd love to have you join the Room with a View project...or I'm also looking for something cool to collaborate on with 3rd grade. Any ideas?

    In regards to this post, I am out of the classroom only two years and there are days I feel the same way. I miss the connection, the dailyness of knowing kids at a deeper level. And then something happens and I realize I am reaching more kids as a librarian, albeit at more of a surface level.

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