Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Four: What do you love about teaching?
In the classroom, the teacher has to be able to roll with the punches of the day, and should always be open to responding to the students and circumstances in front of them. By taking advantage of an impromptu teaching moment, however small, new connections with the material can be made where previously there were none.
Today I gave my students mini white boards and markers to use in class. As an avid doodler myself, I was hardly surprised to find more than just writing on some of their boards. But while circling around the room, I noticed one student in particular (whose English skills I knew to be very low) seemed to be doing nothing but doodling. I approached him and began to encourage him to construct a sentence like one of the examples on the board. He obliged with a slight sigh and started to erase the cartoon figure he’d spent a fair amount of time working on. That’s when I stopped him and asked to borrow his marker. Next to his drawing I added a speech bubble and then pointed back to the board. Just like that, his sigh turned into a laugh, his face lit up with a smile, and with a nod began to write.
Unexpected moments like that are what I enjoy most about teaching. One second the student is bored and disengaged, and the next moment they’re in it. It’s part of my job to keep an eye out for such opportunities as they’re passing by, and to be able to capitalize on them. I still have a lot to learn with this skill, but it’s already becoming one of my favorite things about teaching.