As I have mentioned in my previous posts and pages, I am a substitute teacher in Halifax, NS. Currently I have been at the same school and classroom for the last 6 weeks and it is refreshing compared to the ‘normal’ subbing of one building to the next. I thought I needed to ‘take a step back’ and reflect upon the top 10 reasons why I love being a school teacher.
Top 10 Reasons I love being a School Teacher
1. I love laughing with students. Here is a quick story (I have replaced the actual names of the student).
The school day is finished and students are putting on their coats and about to head home.
Ben to Kyle: “Hey Kyle, look at this!”
Kyle: “Hahahaha that’s so funny” Ben you’re so funny. How are you so funny?
Ben: “Because that’s what I do, I make people laugh, watch this. Hey Mr. Ferzli,”
[Ben does a funny face, with a goofy smile]
Mr. Ferzli: “Hahaha, Ben you’re very funny, you do make people laugh”
Ben: “I know I am, that’s what I love to do” [Giant smile on his face]
2. I love collaboration with colleagues.
It is very powerful to learn, work and develop relationships with colleagues because every conversation or PD enhances my ability to deliver effective and powerful lessons.
3. I love watching students collaborate with one another and learn from each other.
My supervision/duty is always more enjoyable when I watch students organize a game of soccer on their own, organize a game of four square or create an imaginary game with a group of students. It is similar to one of those great feelings you get as teacher when you teach a lesson and quickly the students own the lesson and the create a masterpiece that they are extremely proud of.
4. I love connecting with students on a level outside of the classroom.
Coaching is a passion of mine, but I quickly forgot how wonderful it is to see the joy on the students faces when they get the opportunity to play an organized activity. I was fortunate enough to be able to coach a senior high senior boys basketball team a few months ago, and have started Wednesday lunch intramurals.
5. I love reading to students and I love listening to students read.
The stillness in class, the occasional laughter and the attention that can only be brought about by listening to a story. Reading is not only one of the greatest skills a student can learn in school but it is also a way to relax, enjoy a leisure activity and entertain those around you.
6. I love challenging students outside their comfort zone to gain their deepest learning.
“One finds limits by pushing them” -Herbert Simon
7. I love when learning happens through playing games.
Recently, I discovered the wonderful joy that simple games like “multiplication war” or “multiplication or division bingo” brings to children. There is a time and place for instructions and lecturing lessons, but I firmly believe there is a time and place to learn through play too!
8. I love watching students express their personality and when they share their strengths.
Every morning to start the school day, the students come into my class to a song. Before the end of the song, the students need to be in their desk, silent reading. This is a morning routine which gives direction and an immediate task to get into the right mind set to learn. Monday to Thursday I usually play acoustic guitar or classical music, but on Friday I let a student pick a song. And for the last three weeks, the Friday song has been “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. And lets be honest, who doesn’t love this song? Each week I have observed more and more students dancing before they sit down and read. What is really awesome to see is how the typical reserved quiet student becomes more and more comfortable when they see others around them being comfortable to dance and be silly. The best part is to watch the transformation with students with everyday routine.
9. I love when students discover their passion in the classroom, school and extra-curricular activity.
It’s no secret, people learn outside of the walls of a school, especially kids. It is wonderful to see how adults, teens, and kids begin to become passionate about something. The first time a student saw a “just dance” video played as a break in class, many were shocked and I even had one very keen student ask, “are you allowed to play that in class? ” While I had a chuckle, I noticed a student break out of his shell. In fact, throughout the day he kept saying how much he loves to dance at home with that game. He even said, “I’m going to be a dancer for life.” It was special because I thought of events like talent shows, tournaments or fundraising where students get to display their talents that they don’t normal get to show. Ultimately, education should be the foundations for students to find and develop their passions.
10. I love the feeling of cultivating a classroom and a school culture.
Some of my favourite memories as a student were not necessarily just great lessons, they were great school experiences such as a bike-a-thon, school celebrations, intramurals and team sports. Therefore, as a teacher, I provide opportunities for students to learn and grow in a collaborative environment. Also, having set up cooperate learning strategies for students I have been able to cultivate a classroom that enables students to interact with one another for learning.