Sometimes as I think back on the year so far, it still strikes me as just weird that I am actually a teacher. In the day-to-day, it’s just life. I plan lessons, grade papers, look back and let students know what they can do to raise their grades, and sometimes hand out detention slips. But looking at the big picture, I’m shaken sometimes. I’m a real, live teacher. It’s not just me that’s affected by that. Even after this year, I will always be my students’ 8th grade (or 7th grade) English teacher.
I think we all have those teachers who we remember—not as being our favorite teachers in the world, but simply as being good teachers. People we learned from, who led classes we didn’t dread going to, who taught at least one or two lessons that stuck in our heads over the years. For me, there are several. 6th grade Social Studies, 7th grade English, my 5th grade teacher (who coincidentally ran into me when I was in my early 20s and working at an appliance/electronics store and recognized me before I recognized her), 8th grade Social Studies, 7th grade Science (though now that I think about it, due to the number of lessons, projects, and units I remember vividly from 7th grade Science, maybe Mrs. Braatz really deserves to be in the rockstar all-time great teacher category…), and others. These teachers taught me something, to be sure. They weren’t the most popular teachers in the grade level, and I never became “close” with them. But I remember the lessons they taught me.
And more importantly, I remember them as a part of my life.
This is the type of teacher I strive to be.
I hope that ten or twenty years down the road, my students stop, think back, and say, “Let’s see… 7th grade… I had Ms. Rosendale for English. Yeah, that was an okay class. I remember a project we did…”
If they remember me, I will count my first year of teaching a success.