Thursday, March 04, 2010

It's a . . .

Ha! Had you fooled, didn't I? That's not on the news agenda until tomorrow, remember?

In the mean time, let me tell you about a pleasant surprise from the teaching realm the last few days.

I have been incredibly frustrated this school year by my students' overall lack of ambition. While I teach a lot of lovely, exceptional folks, I also teach some who are . . . well . . . not lovely, nor exceptional.

I have always known I would not be an easy teacher. That isn't my style. I know I am a tough grader, and I have high expectations for my students.

My first year teaching, that really worked for me. I probably wasn't tough enough classroom management wise (a pretty typical thing for a beginning teacher), but I feel like I pushed my students to learn. I think students generally still liked me, and I had a good rapport with the kids. I miss Lehi High School a lot. In retrospect, things I complained about, I should be shot for complaining about. I had it pretty posh.

My second year teaching was interesting. The first semester I spent in immense culture shock, but I still loved my students, and very little changed as far as the way I pushed them academically. I feel like the year went well, once I adjusted to my new environment.

Enter my third year teaching. I am still the toughie I've always been, but I've been met with a lot of resistance this year. I don't know what is different, but something is. In the past, I've felt like students haven't loved working hard (we're talking about teenagers here), but I feel like they've known I am pushing them because I care, and they've stepped up to the challenge (obviously not ALL of them, but most of them). This year, I feel like I've been met with a lot of resentment.

I have a lot of students who would be content to do nothing. This hurts me. It's like there is absolutely no desire to learn. No spark. Nada. Nothing. Sadly, a lot of these kids are honors students (which don't even GET me started on that).

At the start of this semester, I had a student tell me she was scared of me.

This has made me sad.

I have always known I didn't want to be the easy teacher, but I also didn't want to be the "mean" teacher.

Well, this week I announced my pregnancy to my classes, and I have had a much needed self-esteem boost the last couple of days.

So many of my students from last year, and even from last semester, have come by to tell me how excited they are for me. Even the little girl from last semester who was mad about the C on her research paper stopped by my room to give me a big hug and tell me she thought I was going to be an amazing mom. Even my students from this semester have been really cute and excited. I know that this isn't really that big of a deal, but to me this was just a testament that I haven't completely desecrated my relationship with these kids, and that maybe they did have a positive experience in my class.

These are my favorite reactions to my pregnancy announcement:

"Oh, is that why you've been so moody?"
--Oh, if I could only tell you what has really been making me so moody. Most of it involves dealing with you.

"But, Mrs. Reese, if you're pregnant . . . why aren't you getting any bigger?"
--Should I hug you now, or later? Oh, how you've made my little heart soar with happiness.

"How do you know for sure that you're pregnant? Did you take a pregnancy test?"
--No, I just thought I would announce it to a classroom full of adolescents before I found out for sure.

They make me laugh. Despite how hard my job has been for me this year, days like the last couple remind me that I do enjoy being a teacher.


  1. Don't you just love high school students?!?!

    I have to constantly go over the process of thinking about something and THEN saying it...not vice versa

    Can't wait to find out about baby Reese!!~

  2. I honestly don't know how you do it on a full time is a HARD job! You don't know till you do it! KUDOS to you and all the teachers who work so hard to teach our children!

  3. I know you wrote this forever ago, but I just have to tell you how fun you are to read. You're just so adorable and I highly doubt anyone could ever think of you as the mean teacher!


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