My role technically this semester is “student teacher.” But there are times when I wonder which one I actually am more of. My dear 9th graders see me as a teacher, and nothing beyond that–although they still compare me to my cooperating practitioner, they see me as an authority figure.
But sometimes, I really think my 9th graders are my teachers, and I’m their student more than anything else. While it’s true that I’m the one giving them grades, their the ones who really dictate how I teach what I teach based on their past learning. And since they can’t tell me directly, I have to critically reflect on what they have given me to figure it out. Not only that, but because they all learn differently, I have to go figure out more ways to teach them so that they all get it.
And in turn, having to do all of that makes me a better student. Last night I was up until one finishing grading some papers. Grading papers and trying to think about how to teach them how to think is already making me a batter writer. I opened up a paper that I’ve been working on this morning, and realize that I’m still fine-tuning many of the skills that we’re working on with them. Funny how you never actually stop learning.