I have had to deal with an illness this year and missed some school. As many who know me, I hate this. I hate not being with the students every day, teaching them, watching them grow, and having them teach me in some way as well.
I feel that the students I teach become my family for the year, and sometimes for many years. I get to know them personally- their likes, dislikes, how they speak and write, and how they interact with others. This is just like some of my interactions with my own children- the observation and discussions that is. I love eating lunch with the students to see a different aspect of their being, or even being a silent observer in the hallway between classes to see who is dating who, which friends are on the out's, or even which students are struggling with friendships or interactions with others.
It is truly important for me to connect with my students, and one way I do so is by eliciting their stories. I always believe that my students can transform and find themselves, in addition to becoming literate people who will love reading. This is truly the best compliment I received this year- many parents and students have stated to me that they do not know what I did, but they now love reading (or at least have read more books than they ever have before!). This discovery with their own skills and passions, allows the student to further their development and passion to then go onto high school and then college. I always knew each student can do, and now they're doing it. That's why I teach.
I love middle school kids. I love where they are intellectually and
emotionally. I love being able to engage them in the kind of rigorous
discussions that they are just getting ready for (with them now understanding sarcasm and irony) and then seeing them watch a Disney movie.
I love teaching. I love learning about and from my students every year. I love just being in the classroom every day with my six different classes that become my little families over the course of our time together. I just love my students.