Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Our Job Is 'Kids'

Oh. My. Word.

I have some fantastic students--future teachers--and they often impress and amaze me. But every once in a while, one of my students speaks with such wisdom and clarity that it makes me take a step back.

In Introduction to Education I assign my students a weekly reflection paper about the readings and discussions we have in class. These short papers help give me insight into how they are understanding the course material, how they are making connections, how they are learning.

In a recent reflection about the tasks inherent in planning for instruction, one of my students wrote this gem:
Because we are the teachers planning for each day, we need to know what we are teaching. We need to know the content and curriculum – not just know the facts, but application also. As teachers, our job is “kids.” We learn content to teach the kids. We learn to be aware of kid development. We learn to form activities and friendly classroom for the kids. We learn to be a leader for kids.
She made connections here between several different ideas we had discussed at earlier points in the semester: she is showing how it all hangs together for her, which is great!

But that phrase right in the center of this, it got me! Here it is again, in case you missed it:

As a teachers, our job is "kids."

How about it, veterans? Do you still think of it this way? What is central to your work as a professional educator? Policies and procedures? That high-stakes test that's coming up? The latest district initiative? Meeting minimum standards?

Or are you in it for the kids?

Why are we teaching? Here's the voice of wisdom from a future teacher: our job is "kids." 

Image by Ilmicrophono Oggiono [CC BY 2.0]

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