A My greatest lesson has been that you don’t need to be the perfect teacher. Especially at the beginning of the school year, I felt pressure to be an outstanding teacher. Usually, I put this pressure on myself, but I also felt like the kids deserved an outstanding teacher because of the circumstances and the terrible things some of them were going through. We all knew that learning on an online platform isn’t ideal for everyone, so I thought I had to be perfect and constantly innovative and engaging in order for my students to learn anything or even remotely enjoy school.
However, now that it’s May, I’m quickly seeing that it doesn’t matter how “perfect” my lesson plans are or how many fancy programs I can fit into a lesson. What’s mattered to them is that someone cares even though that someone is behind a screen (or if the student is in person, that someone is talking to a screen the majority of the time). With the pandemic and sudden isolation and social distancing we’ve found ourselves in, my kids feel lonely and unheard. Building relationships has always been the name of the game when you’re a teacher, but I let my pride and ego get the best of me in the beginning and thought I had to be perfect. In reality, I just needed to be myself and share my personality with them. I guess, in the end, that could be the definition of the “perfect” teacher: a teacher who cares and makes sure that their students know that they care, because that feeling of being loved and cared for is what the students are going to remember.