Greatest Highlight Moments of Teaching – Teacher Recognition Celebration 2018
My greatest highlight moment is actually one of my failures. When I first started teaching I taught a lesson about the three branches of government and I gave my kids a test and they all actually failed. So as any good teacher would do I went back and retaught the lesson but this time I made it much more interactive. We wrote a rap, and the next time when I went to go test them again all of them passed and were doing well. And I know it might sound like a little thing but- it was like my first “aha” moment as a teacher where if you make such subtle changes to your pedagogical- approach, that they could have a profound impact on the lives of your student. My students come in extremely shy and timid and I teach them how to challenge each other, how to use justification, how to prove that they’re right and they absolutely by the end of the year will be raising their hand. “I challenge them because.”, or they’ll start standing up for their own thinking. And the whole process where we can become that give and take in a classroom, which is pure discussion. That is a highlight of every single year by the end of the year their hands up “I want to challenge that person.” and I’m like “Alright, let’s go.” So I just love that whole comfortable feeling of math where they want to be able to share their own reasonings. This year in particular I did a project-based learning that allowed me to- learn more about students with disabilities. Through this project my students were educated about people with different types of disabilities. But they also developed empathy and care for those that are different than they are. Even after our project was over my students would ask when they could see them and play with them. It is so exciting and we wanted to watch them learn the true value of empathy. Witnessing not just how much they have learned, but also watching how big their hearts have grown for others is definitely a highlight for me. I’m an equity Tosun this year and, the greatest thing that has happened is seeing any of the students that I work with, or any of the adults that I work with, surpass their own expectations. When they surprised themselves with what they’ve learned and what they’re able to do. I have kids who’ve come to me and said that they don’t do math very well, they hate math. And I really work hard by the end of the school year to make them feel like: yes, you can all do math, and that we love math. So I’ve had a kid come in who was getting like an F in math. And she goes “I just- I can’t do math.” by the end of the year she had a A-. And she goes “Ms. Chappell I love math I can do math.” and so my kids will tell you if you ask them “What do you need to know? What do you need to love to be in my class?” and they will tell you: math. Probably the greatest highlight that we do here is a presentation called: International Day. All the classes of the ESL get together and they meet by countries. And they do different things like singing and dancing from their country or… Last year, I was impressed by some Japanese ladies who did folding cloth. One time we had Aztec dancers from Mexico with swords dancing. Afterwards we all go back to our classrooms and have a potluck together. I say I enjoy coming to work every day, But I do remember one student who at the beginning of this semester- had told me repeatedly that he did not like history class, that it wasn’t fun for him, it wasn’t his favorite topic. By the end of the year he told me that he was thinking of going to college and becoming a social studies teacher. So I felt like “Well, I’ve done my job then.” because somebody else is going to take my place and try to instill the same love for teaching and for teaching social studies that I have done for this student. So I remember that student forever. There’s one day every year that is definite guaranteed highlight and that’s graduation. To see the students in their cap and gowns beaming with pride and joy their families all around them, walking across the stage and turning that tassel. And it’s the culmination of all their years in school all their hard work their dedication, and It’s a time to really show off and be proud of their accomplishments. It makes all the effort and all the work that we do here worth it.