I asked my kids what they think of me, of my class, of my teaching. My questions were simple, including one: What is learning to your teacher? One student wrote, “She loves learning because anytime I find out something she didn’t know, she admits it and she seems to celebrate.” Another, “She’s crazy about learning – like when there is a new learning opportunity like the Vomit Comet or mock election, she always takes it.” As I looked through the pile, I laughed and I thought about how they “get me.” The references to my rainbow tennis shoes. To my “space shelf”. To the way I say everything is “my favorite thing.” Somewhere in the middle of me getting to know them so well, I’ve let them see who I really am as a person.
I could read a billion negative stories about education in the news. I could look at the list of problems facing our schools. Things I have no immediate control to change. Or, I could just try to be the best teacher I can for my kids. Not the perfect teacher, because that doesn’t exist. Not an expert, because that’s not what they need. Just the kind of teacher I hope they see when they look at me.