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Each teacher can recount numerous highs and lows in their teaching career. Personally, I experienced many great moments while teaching. These were days when I ended so happy and enthusiastic that I knew I had selected the right profession. On the other hand, I had days where I definitely questioned teaching as a career. These were days where the students seemed uninterested, too talkative, or even worse a blow up occurred and nothing got accomplished. Thankfully the average combined with the positive days outshine my negative days.
Through my 14 years of teaching and working in education, one event stands above the rest as my absolute best teaching experience. Through it I learned so much about teaching and dealing with students. My hope is that the student involved was at least partially changed for the better from the experience as I was. I also hope that there is something in this story that can help inform and inspire you. Let’s call him Tyler.
Tyler was a troubled student. He was enrolled in my senior American Government class followed the second semester by Economics.
Surprising as it was to many former teachers, he had made it to senior year. However, he had spent a couple of years in and out of full inclusion classrooms. He had numerous behavior management issues. I don’t remember his exact IEP at this point, this happened about 10 years ago, but I know that he had impulse control and anger management issues. He had been suspended many, many times in previous years.
The previous year he had been mainstreamed with a co-teacher in some classes. However, for 12th grade, he was in my room without a co-teacher. I knew he had problems before the first day.
His ESE coordinator came and visited me during planning week to have a talk about him. My style of teaching is such that I am very stern in the beginning, allowing students to get away with very little. I have always done this on purpose believing that it is easier to soften up as the year goes on than get harsher. I learned this the hard way my first year of teaching. I decided that I was not going to change the way I taught or interact with him in particular because of his issues. He sat in the back row. I had never used a seating chart with students on the first day when I was just getting to know them.
Every time I talked at the front of the class, I would ask questions of students, calling them by name. This helped me learn their names while getting the kids involved. Unfortunately, every time I called on him he would respond with a flip answer. He knew the answers when he listened but he didn’t want to be called on. If he got an answer wrong, he would get very angry. About a month into the year, I was beating my head against the wall trying to connect with Tyler. I could usually get these kids to be involved or at the very least to sit quietly. However, he was just loud and obnoxious.
Tyler had been in so much trouble through the years that it had become his modus operandi. He expected it and he expected his teachers to know about his referrals and suspensions. For every new teacher, he’d push and push seeing what it would take to get a referral. I tried to outlast him and work things out my way. I had rarely found referrals to be effective because students would return worse than before. One particular day, Tyler was talking while I was teaching. In the middle of teaching I said in the same tone of voice, “Tyler why don’t you join our discussion instead of having one of your own. With that, he got up from his chair, pushed it over, and yelled something I can’t remember other than including the words, “You B—-! ” Well that was definitely referral time. I sent him to the office with a discipline referral, and he received a week’s out of school suspension. Now so far you might be asking how this could be my best teaching experience. So far it was actually one of my worst. I dreaded that class every day. His anger and mumbled words under my breath were almost too much for me. The week’s out of school suspension was a wonderful hiatus, and we got a lot accomplished that week.
However, the week soon came to an end, and I began dreading his return. I knew from talking with his other teachers that he would be back angrier and with a chip on his shoulder. I devised a plan. On the day of his return, I stood at the door waiting for him. As soon as I saw him, I asked him to talk for a moment. He seemed unhappy to do it but agreed. I basically told him that I wanted to start over with him. Further, I gave him permission that if he felt like he was going to lose control in class he could step right outside the door for a moment to collect himself. From that point on, Tyler was a changed student in my classroom.
He listened, he participated. He was actually a smart child and I could finally get to see this in him. He even stopped a fight between two other students one day. And you know the most ironic part of it all? He never, ever used the privilege I had given him to leave the class for a moment. I believe that just giving him the power to decide for himself made all the difference. At the end of the year, he wrote me a thank you note about how good the year had been for him. I still have it today and find it very touching to reread when I get stressed about teaching. In the end, this experience changed me as a teacher.
Students are people who have feelings and who don’t want to feel cornered. They want to learn but they also want to feel as if they have some control over themselves. I never made assumptions again about a student before they came into my class. Every student is different; no two students react in the same way. It is our tasks as teachers to find not only what motivates each student to learn but also what motivates them to misbehave. If we can meet them at that point and take away that motivation, we can go a long way towards a more effective classroom and learning experience.
Essay So far, my high school experience has been one of many choices being made. Throughout these past three years I have had to make many choices, many of which have impacted my relationship with my friends, teachers, and coaches. However, no decision was harder than one I made this year in this past soccer season. This decision was not exclusively my own but one I shared with my father. This dilemma involved pulling me, the captain of the varsity soccer team off the team because of a problem between the coach and me.
My father came to this decision because the coach was using me, whom he had made a captain and a focal point of team, as a scapegoat for the team’s losses and hardships. This was a very tough, and complicated situation in which myself. This decision to leave the team, a group of my friends, was probably the most difficult one for me to make; however, I feel it was a good one. Despite the fact this decision was not exclusively mine, I still feel that my father lofor my best interest and I am grateful for that. Though this decision was difficult, it did open many other doors for me.
I refused to dwell on the fact that all I had worked hard for had been taken away from me in one fell swoop. Instead, I tried to show resiliency and bounce back by joining clubs and making the honor roll. Even though I had achieved success on the soccer field as a player, it was not a healthy situation in which to keep myself in. Although I am a person who has always been able to take criticism, my coach’s behavior and words had degenerated to a level where it was affects my own self – respect and dignity. Both my dad and I agreed that we could not allow this to happen.
After I left the team, I contemplated whether or not my father and I had made the right choice or whether I should have abide by my dad’s decision or go against it. It came down to a talk with the Athletic Director that further persuaded me to stay off the team at least for the remainder of… oked out The years I spent in high school were truly memorable to say the least. Looking back on those days now as a much more mature, responsible, and overall better person, I believe that the experiences I had over those three years are responsible for making me the person I am today.
Paradoxically enough, it seems the least enjoyable aspects of my highschool career were the most important in shaping me into the man I am today. Until recently my hometown high school, Bedford, only had tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade in the high school building, despite the fact that high school curriculum begins in ninth grade. I was in the last class coming out of the three middle schools to not have spent ninth grade in the highschool. So as far as I am concerned, the true “high school experience” didn’t begin for me until the fall of 2004 upon entering the tenth grade.
The majority of us tenth graders at the high school on the first day of class, it was our first day ever even stepping one foot into the school. For me and a few other students, it was on the contrary. Our middle schools did not offer Chemistry, and so we would go to the highschool for first period and then go back to the middle school for the remainder of the school day when we were still in ninth grade. This gave us the advantage of knowing where to go and the fastest way to get there once that dreaded first day of high school came rolling around.
As for the rest of the student body, they weren’t so lucky. I’ll never forget seeing all of my good friends staring at the map with a look of complete and utter confusion. So I just did what any one of them would have done to me: give them a hard time. It was all in good fun. We talked about our teachers, and how they gave each one of us the whole welcome-to-high-school-now-get-to-work line in our respective classes. Those of us who weren’t too close over the summer caught up on the times and what we did, where we went, and blah blah blah.
It wasn’t really… y High School Experience When people start high school they’re usually so excited. They can’t wait to experience everything that comes with being in high school, I mean who wouldn’t? Everyone says that high school is the best four years of your life. Now that I’m months away from graduating, I can’t say they were my best years but I can say they were my most educational years, of course I wouldn’t say that they weren’t fun because they were. When I say educational, I mean I’ve learned so much about myself and so much about life.
I learned what the words family, love, betrayal, law and life meant. All these events changed me, and I’m glad they happened because I wouldn’t have learned all these lessons. My personality hasn’t changed; I’m still a carefree girl, just with a little more wisdom and a lot more strength. I started off school with a horrible attitude because my parents sent me to a different school. They sent me to a school where I knew about two people, I was so angry at my parents Is this Essay helpful?
Join O that I decided to rebel until they would transfer me to Eastlake. When I went back to Eastlake everything was good again, I made new friends and I even had a boyfriend. My priorities were never really about school or getting good grades, it was always about my friends and my boyfriend. I would ditch on a daily basis just to spend more time with them even if we didn’t really do anything exciting, just as long as I didn’t have to be bored in a classroom.
My ditching got so bad it got to the point where my teachers didn’t even know my name, or they thought I transferred out of their class. As a result to all this ditching, I had horrible grades and I was way behind on my credits. I regret ditching because I ruined my chances of going to a university; instead I’m going to a community college. I realize now that I ditched for no reason at all, it was a waste of my time. I look back and think that ditching is just so ridiculous, there really is no point to it unless you want to ruin your future….
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