Letter to My Future (Teaching) Self

Dear Ms. Jeffers,

Remember. Life as a student is not AT ALL the same as that of the teacher.

No more procrastination, no more spacing out. You will need to be alert and ready at all times when teaching your class. Whether it is for possible questions on different and unique lessons or because one of your own students is spacing out themselves.

Be on the lookout for students watching YouTube videos of sneezing pandas:

Funny TikToks:

And so many more distractions.

But most importantly remember to be kind, considerate, understanding, inclusive, and accepting of all those who enter your space. These students might feel vulnerable coming into a new environment. Georgina, you want your students to enjoy your class while also finding value in the time they spend with each other and yourself. You are there to help them develop as humans and to grow understandings of topics they had never learned or thought of before. Your job is to help grow a foundation for these children to adapt and overcome hardships and the unknown.

Accept them and treat them with kindness. They are only children. You need to understand that they will make mistakes and teach your students why their choices are not always correct. Take into account their upbringing, their values, their beliefs. We do not all come from a single story, so why treat it as if we do?

Live up to those same values when speaking to your equals. Inclusivity is important, especially with the level of teamwork that takes place between teachers. Remember, you will be a part of a team, a cohort, with fellow teachers of the same grade. Remain respectful and appreciate the level of conversation that takes place with one another.

Advocate for yourself and for your students. The lessons I have taken away during my time at the University of Portland and all of its Education courses are to adopt a culturally responsive style of teaching, accommodate for all, make the classroom accessible to each and every student. The combination of these three ideas can spark a safer and far more productive classroom.

To end on a corny note: “We’re All In This Together”.

Sincerely,

Georgina Jeffers

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

One Reply to “Letter to My Future (Teaching) Self”

  1. Georgina, a solid message to future you. I’ve had the opportunity to teach in all sorts of settings – rural to urban, poor public schools to affluent independent schools. Even spent 3 years training in facilities for incarnated youth. Your comment says it all: “We do not all come from a single story, so why treat it as if we do?”

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