Lasting Impressions

As I get closer to being done my education degree and my second to last practicum block I can see my teaching beliefs taking shape.  When I think on how these beliefs and practices have come about I can’t help but think about all the amazing teachers I have encountered in my life. I have taken their life lessons with me in my life and hope that many of the things I saw in them I too can bring into my future classroom.

One teacher that stands out in my mind is my grade 2 teacher Mrs. Webster. I distinctly remember how she never raised her voice to get our attention, never yelled at students who were misbehaving but rather always kept calm and centered. That calmness was infectious, because our teacher was calm we were calm. Since my days in grade 2 I have carried that sense of calm with me into my work. One of the things I have been told when working in stressful jobs is that I don’t get rattled easily. (Although to be honest I do, I just don’t show it!). I hope that this is something that I bring into my classroom. I hope I exude a sense of calm and professionalism when teaching and being in the classroom.

Beach Party

C.C. By RorschachPixels

Another teacher that stands out in my mind is Mevrou Van Royen (I forget how to spell her last name!) She was my primary school Phys Ed. teacher. Much if not all of her classes took place outside on the beautiful grounds of our school. Yes, we were blessed with the wonderful Kwa-zulu Natal weather which allowed us to get fresh air and sunshine every P.E. class!

The thing that stands out about Mevrou Van Royen in my mind was how she saw everyone as capable. Her diverse P.E. classes ensured that everyone no matter their ability had the opportunity to practice and participate in Phys Ed. This philosophy transferred over into the schools sports team with every person in the school who wished to was able to be on a sports team. They would have the opportunity to  practice and compete in tournaments. In my eyes this is something that lasts a lifetime. No matter ability each and every child who was on a sports team can confidently say as an adult that they were on a sports team. I hope that I bring with me the philosophy that each and every child is capable and able to achieve. I also hope that I can give them the opportunities to practice and succeed at different things to help build a sense of self efficacy.

One funny moment with a teacher was in grade 9 as I was walking down to chapel I was talking to my Afrikaans teacher, whose name suddenly escapes me, when she suddenly turned to me and said “Mary you are going to get an A for Afrikaans in Matric”. As someone who up until that time had never cared for grades, I was shocked that she was announcing this to me and what was fully expecting me to achieve it. Although I never did have the opportunity to complete high school in South Africa I can definitely assure you I would not have risked disappointing my teacher and would have gotten that A. From this small moment I would take that expecting great things from your students and pushing them to achieve greatness can be that little extra push to get them there.

These three teachers are just a few of the many fantastic teachers I had growing up. I take something from each and every one of them. I take things I would like to emulate. I take things that I never want to do.  But just like everyone in our lives even the smallest interactions can stay with us forever.


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