Well, I’ve been settled here in Brainerd for the past week now and tomorrow I finally get to work. It’s nothing major, not even the official start of teacher workshops. I’m just going into the high school tomorrow at 9:00am to work with Beth on a few syllabi as well as whatever other tasks she gives me. While Wednesday is the big start day, with a schedule full from 7:30am to 8:00pm, tomorrow really is the start of everything.
To say I’m nervous is an understatement: I’m downright terrified. However, there’s also that excitement that is building within me to get started. I feel that, especially next Tuesday when the kids finally arrive at school for the first day, as soon as I get into the classroom I will remember all the reasons why I love teaching and working with students. It’s truly one of the most important and amazingly rewarding jobs someone can do. I am going to have an impact on the next generation, it’s a crazy notion! However, is that impact going to be a positive one, or a negative one?
When I was visiting TrekNorth before I left Bemidji, I saw a piece of paper taped on the door of the Director, Dan McKeon. This is what it said:
I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate; it’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture, or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, or a child is humanized or de-humanized. – Haim Ginott.
Reading and thinking about this has really made me realize just how much power I have in the classroom. As Spider-Man would say, with great power comes great responsibility. Now, it is my responsibility to be the best teacher for these students that I can be.