Monthly Archives: December 2013

Why I Will Always be a Mean Teacher

Last week was my last week student teaching. This week I’m just hanging out in the classroom watching my cooperating teacher teach the class again.  my class.

 

I sat there watching them work on a group assignment today, and all I wanted to do was leave my desk and walk around the room and talk to them and help them out; make sure they were doing okay on their work; make sure life was okay.  And I kept having to tell myself, it’s not your class anymore, Laura. They’re not yours.  

 

I miss them. I miss those kids. Those seniors. My kids.

 

We had a rough start…We threw some quizzes in the trash for cheating…Set up a strict late work policy amidst groans and “ugh. I don’t like her.” “She’s asking us to work.”

 

If you ask them about some of the rules/mantras I had while I was teaching they’d say:

 

Ms. Clonch doesn’t believe in curves (the grading kind).

For every day something is late, it’s 20 pts. off

If you get caught cheating, you walk your assignment to the trash yourself and throw it away.

 

And another thing, I didn’t try to fit in with them and talk mean about kids or watch questionable scenes in movies.  I ran an honest class, an open class, but a safe class. “Come on, Ms. Clonch, we’re seniors!”  was something I heard more than once.

 

I didn’t talk about Miley and the VMAs. I didn’t appeal to the latest Macklemore song. I wasn’t there for that (although we did watch a couple spongebob episodes during class.  But I mean, when is an education about the Middle Ages complete without the medieval dungeons and dragons spongebob episode).

 

But I cared about those kids;  wrote them encouraging notes on their writing assignments and progress reports. And we talked a lot in that class. And not just about Chaucer.  We talked about life, love, sacrifice, Christ, relationships; we staged debates and discussions.

 

I love that class.

 

I didn’t expect them to miss me.  I didn’t expect them to shout hey when i passed them outside throughout the semester; or collectively plead with me not to leave the day i told them i was only going to be there one more week; i didn’t expect a group of kids to stop and chat in the library for ten minutes yesterday and say they were going to miss me.  I didn’t expect to sneak in late to class today while my teacher was teaching to an outburst of “Ms. Clonch!”  Heeeeeey!!  from every single kid.

 

I’m going to miss those kids.  And I realized they’ll miss me too.

 

I have learned that kids don’t love you when you watch movies all day or give freebies in class.

 

They love you when you expect a lot out of them and hold them to a standard.  They need more encouragement in their lives, so be lavish with it.

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