|Fourth grader teaching her Pre-K Book Buddy!|
Like an actor in a play, teachers try to build a genuine connection with our audience while portraying a character. Stage actors, like teachers, have families, histories, and issues that they bring into their role. While this background makes us into the performers that we are, sometimes our personal lives don't mesh with our role. I have days when I'm emotional or exhausted, yet when I step in front of my kiddos, I'm "on stage" -- I need to smile, speak calmly, and focus on the content I'm teaching, regardless of what's been happening behind the scenes.
I'm often reminded of this comparison when I'm overwhelmed by working late, stressful morning meetings, or personal issues. The reality is that all teachers have good days and bad days, and children they click with and those they don't. Being a "responsive teacher" means knowing that my students and I will all have days we don't feel like working our hardest or doing our best. It means knowing that my students' families and experiences are as important and inextricable from them, as mine are from me. I hope that, like a stage performer, my vulnerability, honesty, and life experience shine through in my performance and ultimately make me someone who my audience (students and parents) trusts, appreciates, and supports.