Ok, I admit it. I posted this blog at about midnight on Friday, but then I got worried about the content and deleted it because I thought it was too personal. However, I have decided to re-post it and be unafraid of what I originally said. So here goes…
This week I want to talk about the article we read in which the author suggested that me need to look at ourselves in the classroom, not only the students. In the article, Royster and Taylor state that we need to look at both teacher and student identity to “re-shuffle these relationships and re-make the balances in order to make recognizable that negotiation of the classroom identity involves an interaction of all parties, sometimes with competing agendas” (LE, 214).
I was particularly struck by the diary of Taylor’s teaching experience. With my recent acceptance of a GA ship, I have become acutely aware of her worries and ponderings within the journal. I was in a high school classroom for a year doing student teaching and I team taught a freshman seminar course with a seasoned teacher at my undergrad institution, but this time I am REALLY, REALLY nervous. Each of the other times I had a teacher on hand in the room to help me, this time it’s all me.
I began to wonder just what it is that I bring to the classroom as a teacher and a student in one. I wondered if I would have any trouble separating myself from the student part when I am supposed to be leading a classroom full of students. What exactly can I offer them? Will I be able to handle an unruly student? Will I try to save the students I think might still have a chance, like Taylor did? How will I handle the situations that Taylor had and if I approach them differently will I have any repercussions?
Aside from the fact that I have become very nervous in my own life as a teacher, I think more than anything Taylor and Royster have helped me to see that reflection and analyzing myself as a teacher will ultimately give me a better picture of how to better help myself help my students.
It seems like a cliché, I know, but when it comes down to it, we’re all probably a little or a lot terrified the first time we step into the classroom as THE TEACHER. I’m just glad to know that I am not the only one who will go through all that anxiety and that what I bring to the classroom as the teacher is just as valid as what the students bring to the classroom themselves.