Wow, it is hard to believe we have already been here for two weeks of school and we only have one week left! The time has gone by too quickly, though it feels as if we have known each other and our students for much longer than two weeks. I think it is safe to say that we have all developed attachments to each other, this beautiful and unique place, and above all, our students.
I have learned so much about my students and those of the other members of our group. The background of many of the students who attend the Gallup public schools is heartbreaking and they all have stories to tell. School, which many people take for granted, is a privilege and maybe the only constant thing in the lives of these students. Therefore, the teachers and staff at their schools have an important role in their lives; not only do teachers have to teach the students the curriculum, but also offer them support and care, as they are significant role models for the students.
One of the things we say to each other as we get dropped off at our respective schools everyday is “Make a difference!” And I believe we do. Lending a listening ear to a student who has had a rough day or helping them until they have that “lightbulb” moment and finally understand a concept they have been struggling with can make a difference. Even a simple smile can make a difference. This is why we are studying to be teachers. As some of you may know, I love math (yes, I did just say that) and everyone else also loves their subject area. However, one of our cooperating teachers advised, “Never love your subject more than your students,” which reminded me of the reason I wanted to become a teacher in the first place: for the students.
If I’ve learned anything this J-Term, it is that being a teacher really is about helping, supporting, and caring for your students. It isn’t about test scores, or money, or meetings, or just getting through the week. Instead, it is about growing children into well-rounded and capable individuals that can succeed in and contribute to society. Every interaction a teacher has with their students can have a positive or negative effect; therefore, it is our goal in this last week with our students to make even the slightest positive impact on their lives as we come one step closer to changing the world, even if it is just the world of one student.