Being student centered is hard work. Sometimes, I hate it because it is exhausting. Study hall is a flurry of questions and noisy group work. I have to circulate to make sure everyone is on task. Groups of students want to draw out concepts on the board. Everyone wants retakes and has questions about # 34 on the homework. Exhausting. Some days, I just want to make it independent work and no one can talk so I can get some work done. I know it is best for the kids this way, but some days (especially during Teacher Appreciation Week), I just wish they would appreciate me and give me the courtesy of letting me sit at my desk. (Also, sometimes, I get tired of hearing my own name…)
Teaching is not convenient, nor is it relaxing. It is hard work. It is endless questions and retakes. It is “how do you do the quadratic formula again?” (or worse, “the quadratic formula? Whats’ that?”)
When I see a student working on a math problem that was not assigned, or a student trying to solve a pattern for the nth term, even when it is 8th hour and they had my class 3rd…it sort of makes it worth it.
We love kids. Thats why we do it. We love their triumphs, and the failures that allow them to fall forward. We love their energy (even in May when it can be a little too much energy for my liking). They are why we do what we do. Seeing them succeed, write a college entrance essay…and get in, or make an awesome spread for the yearbook. Perhaps finally get a passing grade on that concept they have retaken 6 times…
The look on their faces…that is why we do it.