the crux of empathy and engagement

It’s been a full year so far.

Our school is part of HWDSB’s TLE initiative, and there is a steep learning curve for everyone involved. Lots of brain work: learning, analyzing, considering, problem-solving. Thinking critically about how to integrate technology and inquiry into our classroom effectively. Mentally challenging, and, at times, taxing.

New administrators and new expectations came this year as well. Not good or bad, just different. Of course, I also have a classroom full of students I’ve never taught before. And, a new teaching partner.

Change can be hard. It’s challenging. Although embracing change leads to growth, it can be exhausting.

Having all this change at once, one would not fault me if I took it easy this year. Maybe not spend as much time planning. Lower my expectations.  Give textbooks to work from. The thought does cross my mind….I’m tired.

But I can’t do it. There are many reasons why, based on professionalism, ethics and personality (ask all my teaching partners, I’m a hummingbird!). But they all revolve around one key question:

Would I want to be a student in my classroom?

I ask myself this every minute of the day. Most of the time, the answer is yes. I do admit that occasionally, the answer is no. It’s usually when I’m doing some sort of formal assessment I need to do that isn’t enjoyable for students (“Hey everyone…it’s time for DRA!!” “Yaaaaaay!!!”).

It’s such a valuable question to ask. And it’s why I try to make sure my students are engaged, challenged, respected, happy. I want to feel, at the end of the day, that I would love to be in my class.

Would you want to be a student in your class?


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