I remember as a student the butterflies I used to get when I saw one of my teachers out in public. My mom was a teacher so I knew that my teachers had lives outside of the classroom, but there was something special about seeing my teachers in their real life…and them seeing me in mine.
I believe that as a teacher, it is essential to understand that our students have lives outside the classroom and to celebrate that. Often this can simply be a conversation or question about their nights, weekends, holidays or interests. Other times, it is incorporating their interests into learning activities and finding books and websites that will engage students in their learning. Sometimes it is attending community events that students are involved in. Regardless of the event, I love being a part of all of this and seeing the sparkle in my students’ eyes by knowing that they are special and that I am there just for them. Often, it is just a few hours that a teacher sets aside but it can mean the world to a student.
Each year I try to make it to as many community events that my students are taking part in as I can. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to watch one of my students achieve a life long dream, as he had skated with our local junior hockey team,The Edmonton Oil Kings. It was great to see his eyes light up when he saw his teachers there. I also loved the conversations and related math problems that followed the next day at school!
Last week I had another student bring me her soccer schedule and I look forward to making some new memories with another student. The few hours it takes from my week is more than worth it.