This first year as a teacher-librarian has been trial-and-error. Some lessons work; some lessons don’t. Each class has a different vibe, a different personality. What work for one class might not work for another. Those are excellent lessons to learn as a novice educator. Yet, there has been one big lesson I have learned: Do not underestimate the students. They are capable of more than I know.
It was challenging the first few months last year. I did not know what my students knew and what they did not. I was a bit nervous to try many new things with them, especially with technology. Boy, was I wrong. A lot of it was a big leap of faith, and a lot was the actual students wanting for more tech-related items.
Almost sixth months later, I have a different outlook with my students. I have the courage to believe in them, the confidence to trust them. If we do not get something right the first time, we would try again or try a different method. They continue to amaze me with growth every day.
As adults, we do not like to make mistakes. But if you think about it, teachers are students, too. We learn new things; we try; we make mistakes; we learn; we achieve.
Now, my sixth-graders are making websites about their Ancient India research. Fourth-graders are blogging. My Kindergartners know how to log onto a computer and open Microsoft Word.
When I tell people they do these things, they had the same reaction I had back in August: “They can do that? How? I don’t know they even know they could do something like that?” I now say to these people: Believe in your kids; they can do so much if we only give them the opportunity and support.