Since I began working at St. Andrew’s, I have kept a string of cards running across the windows of my classroom. Something over twenty feet of cards. Each card is from a student or colleague, and is a catalogue of gratitude over the course of the four years that I’ve been a teacher here. It has grown from one string to three. And will continue to expand the longer I teach here. But this little piece of my history at St. Andrew’s is, I think, the perfect example of why gratitude (little things like a Christmas card or a thank you card to end the year) goes such a long way. Rereading these cards every year, for me, is a buoy that keeps me afloat. It reminds me why I do what I do. Because, candidly, being a Middle School teacher isn’t easy!
Last month, I asked the 5th graders to catalogue their gratitude for the 5th grade team of teachers by simply telling me two teachers they appreciated and why. It was so joyful that we decided to keep the spirit alive for each grade. This month, the sixth graders have shared their little joys with us, and they are equally endearing and inspiring.
“Mr. Brister is one of my favorite Spanish teachers because he is very chill and likes to play with us. Yes, we can be a handful, but he has a lot of patience with us and teaches us things in a fun way. We do lots of Spanish games, which helps me learn my Spanish better. #BestSpanishTeacher #MyFAVSPANISHTEACHER”
“I really enjoy Mrs Colletti’s classes. She is a really fun teacher and allows us to give her our opinions on books we read. She is also really kind to us and thinks of fun activities.”
“I really love Mrs Burke’s classes. She always greets us outside the door before class and likes to join our conversations at lunch. She is also really fun to be around.”
“I love Mr. Anderson’s class because he teaches us about Speech & Debate. Some Days he takes us outside for brain breaks to play Gaga Ball & Basketball!”
“I love Ms. Venter’s class because she has a way to keep us focused but also having fun. She brings in a lot of positive energy and lets us play games. The way she teaches makes me anticipate Green Block everyday.”
“I love Dr. Clark’s class because she is very flexible tries to make sure we really understand things in Latin before we move on to something else.”
“I love Mrs. Truckner because she is an amazing teacher and advisor. She lets us give our opinion. Also, Dr. Cranford, because he gives us mask breaks, and I know his door is always open to talk.”
“Mrs. Prado is fun and always teaches in ways that help the students. She doesn’t just teach her personally preferred method, she always gives us options on methods to do problems.”
“I love Mrs. Watt because whenever someone doubts themselves then she believes in them and tries to encourage them to push themselves to their best. Mrs. Watt cares for all of her students and engages in our conversations when we talk. Mrs. Watt is the best choir/music teacher, and there are still more reasons why I love Mrs. Watt, but it would take me five paragraphs to explain.”
“Mrs. Truckner is one of my favorite teachers because she is really nice and flexible. When I went to Disneyland and missed stuff, she helped me!I also like the way she teaches, the class is generally fun and challenges me, and I like history 🙂
“Mrs. Prado is one of the best teachers because sometimes she teaches us math in a fun way like Kahoot and Math Knockout. She teaches math in a way that everyone can remember, and she has a way of magically un-confusing people.”
“I love Mrs. Colletti’s class. She understands people if they have a different way of learning, and she tries to make her class as fun as possible, even if the thing we are doing is kinda boring.”
“Mr. Brister is one of my favorite teachers because he is funny and makes me happy. He is able to connect with all of us in different ways. He calls me G.O.A.T, and calls Nicholas Bruce, and sings Layla’s name. He gives us brain breaks, lets us “take a walk” and does so many things that make everyone appreciate him.”
What I have loved about this blog project is the sincerity of each student’s comment(s). They have all taken the opportunity to write about the teachers they love and appreciate, and they’ve done so candidly. The results have been both precious and heartwarming, and a little silly. I don’t think students always take the time, in writing, to talk about their teachers and what they enjoy about their classes, and I’ve had so much fun putting this blog together as a way for students to catalogue those joys!