Today marked my second day of my English 2 class. Already, I am overwhelmed by the exciting potential that resides in my class. Strangely enough, while I have a male-heavy class, I have a few very assertive young women who are eager to contribute. This excites me. Overall, my class seems to be a bit gun-shy about participating in whole-class discussion. We are going to break up in small groups to generate a bit more small-scale discussion, so that our larger discussions will ultimately be more fruitful. But this is a very typical first-unit kind of problem. I can live with that (for now).
Even more exciting are the professorial tasks I have been completing for students. I know that I may eventually dread writing letters of recommendation (not because of the students, but you know, just the act of doing them on top of everything else), but right now, the novelty of professional activity is joyous. I had a young woman from my MA institution ask me last week if I would write her recommendations for scholarships (of course!), a young gentleman who was in both last and this semester’s courses ask for a recommendation for a travel abroad program (absolutely!), and another young man who needs a letter of recommendation as he transfers schools (no problem!). I should probably hesitate more, but I can speak with confidence on all their abilities, character, etc. It just feels good to know that I can help a student achieve a better education, and consequently, a better life.
On that note, can I take a moment to brag about The Chancellor? Seriously, that man is one rad teacher. He and I network a lot about our classes, so I know what he teaches, just as he does for mine. Part of being an educator in a denominational setting means doing those extras, like going on class trips and extracurricular activities–more importantly, he participates in these activities. Every time I accompany him, I see how the students just glom onto him. It’s sweet (and in some cases, just slightly creepy) to see how much they like him. He’s not a scary “let’s be best friends, even though I’m ten years older than you” teacher (we all know one), but he takes time to get to know students as people. On our ice skating expedition last week, he told me about which of his students are fans of The Hunger Games and there was quite the conversation revolving around the series. Or the moment when, upon noticing me in the common room, one junior boy loudly proclaimed, “Mr. Chancellor! Your boo is here.” It’s moments like these, when seeing my husband’s patience, good humor, and genuine interest in his students’ success, that I renew my desire to be a better teacher, and more importantly, a better example for my own students.