Dear Friend,

I want to tell you  so many things but I can’t. Some things are not meant to be said out loud. But it has been 3 weeks since school started, so I’ll take this as my checkpoint to see how am I progressing as a teacher. So here are 5 things that changed, once I became a teacher

  1. I became more organized. This year, files are my best friends. I have 3 files. One file is solely for my class teacher role where I keep attendance, MCs etc. The other file is for more personal documents AND meetings that I have attended and lastly are the files for the classes that I am teaching where I put in my handouts and trackers for each student. Just incase you were wondering, I am probably one of the last person to be organized. Organization cringes my heart. I work best under pressure, under mess. But last yeartaught me, that sometimes being organized helps me stay sane.
  2. I crack more lame jokes. I consider myself as somewhat funny. Sometimes people laugh at the things I say and do and I don’t even know what is so funny. I came to understand that most of the time they’re laughing at me. I take it as a gift, because hey, can you make people laugh by just being you? 😛 But yes, becoming a teacher made it easier to make a fool of myself. I’ll make weird expressions and change my voice to get their attention. When they laugh, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. If they don’t, I feel like I have just made a fool out of myself. But now, I’m totally fine with acting goofy even if no one finds it funny. I’m so fine with embarrassing myself. A huge boost for my self-esteem
  3. Speaking of self-esteem, I think even since I became a teacher, I grew tremendousnly in that area. I have kids calling me all sorts of name. I have kids talking behind my back all the time. I have kids commenting on my colour, body shape, height and the fact that I am Indian and I cannot speak proper tamil. I learned to not take it personally and do more self care. Believe it or not, every morning after my prayers I pat myself by saying, “Juan, I am so proud you. You’ve come so far. You’re amazing in what you do. You’re strong. You’re so worthy and I love you.” Try that every morning and see how you grow in ways you never taught you would.
  4. I learned how to say NO. See, I am the type that can’t say NO. Even now, I can’t say NO. But you wanna know who taught me how to say NO? My kidss!! “Teacher, I want to go fill my bottle.” ……”NO! That should be done during recess”….. “Teacher, I want to be in the same group with C” ……”NO! There is a reason why I placed you in this group, so that you can come out of your comfort zone..” ….. “Teacher, can I get more chocolates…” ……. “NO! These are only for students who answer my question. Answer my questions the next time, I’ll give you one..” Sometimes saying NO shows tough love, it shows that there limits and boundaries and that as a teacher, you are still in charge.
  5. I learn to validate more. Students hunger for validation. Students yearn for someone to say, “I am proud of you..”  I did not use to be the girl who validated often. It’s very hard to get a compliment from me because I had too much pride in me. But becoming a teacher taught me that it’s not about me. It’s about what’s best for them. It’s not about results, its about the effort they put in. Nowadays, you hear me say, “Good job” to my students all the time. I even taught them a chant where we all say to each other, “We are proud of you!!”

I want to write more but I’ll save it for the end of the year.

Have a great weekend!!

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