Well, it didn’t totally fail me. I did go through all my methods courses, learned how to create meaningful and engaging lessons, and even practiced in several classrooms before I was let loose on my own.
It failed me in other ways, and most of us too, I’d guess. It failed to teach me how to deal with:
- The first grader who was molested by mommy’s ‘friend’.
- The child who was dropped off at school by mom, who then walked to the nearest crack house.
- The boy who was being beaten at home.
- The girl who lived in a tent, in the woods, with her mother.
- The child who is raising themselves because the ‘adult’ in the home is unreliable.
- The girl whose mother was murdered, by her father.
- The boy who came to school hungry, every day, and most likely took classroom food home with him.
Or the 10-year-old girl who lost her mother 2 1/2 months ago. The girl who had to sit and listen to a great opportunity to come to classes and have bonding experiences ‘with your mom’. The girl who wanted to go and bravely asked, “What if you don’t have a mom?” The girl who was eyed, sympathetically, by all the other girls in the room. The girl who has to figure out a new normal at a young age.
These are the ways in which teacher training failed me.
Thank heavens for your students, your own life experiences kick in where the college manuals leave off. You relate 100% to so many of your students, and they believe that you do. They do know, both in their hearts and on their sleeves, that you believe in them, that you support them, that you will do everything within your power to advocate for them. There isn’t a textbook that taught you to do that. You taught you to do that.
Thank you for the kind words. They are each amazing with their own stories. They should be celebrated. However, some situations are heartbreaking.