(More details here).
and for the past two weeks, I've been gearing up for the new school year, attending classes and meetings, planning lessons, writing syllabi, reading book after book, and compiling materials. Most of all, I've been wondering about my students and praying that I will do right by them.
Among the recurring themes that have emerged during our faculty and staff back-to-school meetings was the importance of building relationships My back-to-school goal is to foster more meaningful relationships with others, and to really try my best to know my students and to see them for who they really are.
One of the worst (and probably one of the best, in retrospect) comments I've ever received from a student in an evaluation was "talk to us, not at us." Ouch. Had I become the very teacher that I was trying to avoid becoming? It was a wake-up call, however, to the fact that I may not have been reaching some students because I was not reaching out to students enough. Being naturally shy -- and living in my own head too often -- it has been a lifelong challenge for me to overcome my introverted tendencies. I have come far, but I know that I still have important work to do. Hopefully, this school year I will make even more progress.