Yesterday was not a good teaching day for me. For those teachers out there, you know how terrible the bad days can feel. And I can honestly say, I haven't felt entirely appreciated going back into the classroom. You go into teaching knowing that teenagers generally are not going to appreciate you. Oftentimes they view teachers as obstacles, people to subvert, push up against, argue with, disrespect, and I could continue with the list of those not-so-fun descriptive words. As the adult (and teacher), you go to work every day accepting teenagers for who they are, and do the best you can. But the bad days can weigh on your being like no other.
Thankfully, that was all yesterday.
Today, I felt appreciated. The teenagers were still their normal selves in all their glory. The revealing moments that capped my day today transpired during after school club with Mr. Pernicek. It's not really a club. Rather it is when students show up for extra help in the basement of the school where my classroom is located. More than a handful of students voluntarily stayed over an hour to do academic work. They genuinely wanted to improve and do well. There were several impromptu lessons:
- How to take a run-on paragraph and change it to a solid paragraph of sentences.
- How to come up with vivid, descriptive words using thesaurus.com.
- Where to put commas in a compound complex sentence.
- How to connect opinions about a book to life in a short essay.
- How to write and punctuate dialogue.
- How effort, time-management, and focus in school makes life less-stressful.
On an unrelated note, TEDxYouth@Lincoln is coming together nicely. Check out this update.