My first week of full-time teaching went very well, although I was inundated with all of the wonderful tasks that are presented to most teachers. I had to write up a couple of students for texting in the classroom. One stood right in front of me texting this afternoon. Every time I encounter a student with a cell phone in class, I tell the student to give it to me. Every one of them so far has refused! It puzzles me, because if they just hand it over, they are only written up for electronics, but if they refuse, they are also written up for insubordination. This means a detention, but electronics just result in the phone being taken away for a period of time (this is done by the office, not the teacher).
The other thing I was presented with this week was cheating. I caught several students cheating this week, one of which was on an exam. I hate liars and cheaters, so I don’t tolerate it at all in my class. Thanks to the one who cheated on a test, I also had to make my first parent call this week. Fortunately for me, the mom was very pleasant, and obviously concerned with the way her child was acting.
So far we have texting, cheating, and a parent call. I also had some in class issues that I dealt with right away, and by this afternoon we were definitely settling into a good routine. The students are great, no matter what their ability levels are, and I find myself trying to encourage even the most difficult students. Granted, there are some students who make it very difficult to like them.
The way I know teaching is the right profession for me: yesterday morning when I was thinking about my day, I thought of the students as “my kids.” Not in the sense of biological children, of course, but meaning that I feel a definite sense of responsibility for them. I teach because I love the students, and inspiring just one to take a greater interest in the world around them is one of the best feelings ever! Teaching isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. I have a whole new understanding of my parents when I was growing up. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…