Thoughtful and caring learner-teachers, open and eager to know, be known, and respect self and others:

Prior to my first day of student teaching, I decided that I wanted my students to know me as a person and that I wanted to know them in the same way. Many of the teachers that I had in the past, had refrained from completing this important task, and because of it, I felt as if I was unable to connect with them and the material as much as I would have liked.  To this end, I present a PowerPoint about myself to the classroom.  Although it was basic, it showed my students that I was, in fact, a real person with real thoughts and feelings. Because of this, I believe that they gained a sort of respect that they may not have had otherwise.

This first day, I also presented my students with a get to know you questionnaire.  Instead of just asking students for their responses, I provided my own as well so students could better know me.  When they finished with the questionnaires, I kept them confidential and tried to learn what important fact about each student in order to better relate to them on a daily basis.

My most vulnerable moment in teaching also came during my student teaching at Concord High School. One of my colleagues in the program, and one of my good friends at Albion College, passed away unexpectedly.  After taking a personal day, I returned to hugs and appreciation from students.  That day, there were many times when I had to struggle to keep the tears from flowing, but in the end I felt comfortable being vulnerable in front of my students because of being a learner-teacher.

Introduction PowerPoint

Questionnaire given to students on the first day of class

My classroom was a "support group" in more ways than one

My classroom was a "support group" in more ways than one

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