I’ll never forget the first class I was blessed with teaching. As a student teacher, so many things were overwhelming and stressful, but the group of students I was surrounded by everyday made it all worthwhile. Until a few days ago, I wasn’t sure if anything I taught them stuck; however, when I asked them to tell me what I taught them, I was pleasantly surprised. I also found much humor when they told me what they thought they taught me.

My student teacher taught me…

“One thing my student teacher taught me was you have to work hard to be a good student.” Working hard by being safe, responsible, and respectful were expectations in our classroom. Role model students who were always being safe, responsible, and respectful were rewarded with golden tickets, cougar citizen awards, and V.I.P table passes. Due to these rewards, students thrived in the classroom.

“You taught me how nice you are. You can shine on others.” I built relationships with all of my students, and because of this, I was able to hold daily conversations about their lives. Asking them how their game went or what they did over the weekend clearly showed them that I am a kind, caring adult who wants the best for them. I cannot wait to shine on the other students whose lives I enter.

“How to solve hard problems.” School is hard, and life is hard. Sharing with my students that I, too, struggled in school, specifically in math, helped them succeed. I learned that it is important to let students know you were once a student and you can relate to what they’re going through.

I taught my student eacher…

“I taught my student teacher that humor can get you through the day.” I’ve never been a humorous person myself, but thanks to so many of the fourth grade students I was blessed with everyday, I have come to enjoy humor. Now, everyday when I wake up, I tell myself that no matter how difficult my day may be, I will always be able to find some humor somewhere.

“That everyday can be great if you work hard.” “The harder you work the better you get.” Hard work and determination have always been two characteristics that I feel I strongly possess. I’m overjoyed to know that these two characteristics that I hold so highly in my life have now become characteristics that my students hold highly in their own lives. Knowing that students are working hard to get better everyday makes me feel like a successful teacher.

“How to play minecraft.” Listening to stories over and over again about the endless hours my students spend playing minecraft was enough to let my students know I cared. Some of them apparently even think they actually taught me how to play the game. I had never heard of minecraft before this year, but because so many of my students had a strong passion for minecraft, I feel like I’m now a minecraft expert.

As I wrap up my elementary student teaching experience, I want to extend a thank you to the bright, young fourth grade students that taught me everything I know about being a fourth grade teacher. You were all there experiencing the journey with me through our best days and our worst days. Together we found humor in each day and pushed ourselves to succeed.