6 Confessions of an Online English Teacher
Written by Maggie D.
I’ve been teaching online English at Whitmore School for almost a year, and it’s been one of the coolest jobs I’ve ever had! But like anyone else, I have some confessions….but please don’t tell my students!
- I get WAY TOO EXCITED when I meet my students (virtually) for the first time. I have to work hard to control how many exclamation marks I put inside that first message! It’s just so exciting meeting a new person that I get to teach AND learn from! And these kids are amazing! I haven’t met a single kid I didn’t like! These are some of the coolest people ever, and I get to meet them! It’s like Christmas morning each time I have a new student!
2. It totally makes my day when my students post a lesson. I want to give them all hugs and high fives! This is why I am here! This is why I have a job! The students! And it’s such a big deal to take control over their learning! And they did it! This is how you achieve your goals…one lesson, one step at a time! And that’s so much reason to celebrate right there!
3. I really like it when students ask questions. Easy questions. Hard questions. Medium questions. Questions about the directions. Questions about a question. Questions about the text. Questions about my feedback. There are no questions I do not like, and it brings me so much joy when they take a step and ask a question!
4. I clap and dance and sing a lot while I give feedback and grades. Sometimes my husband runs into the room where I work and asks if I’m okay because I’m making so much noise! I happily tell him, “MY STUDENT JUST GOT IT! IT WAS A REALLY HARD QUESTION, AND HE GOT IT RIGHT!!! I AM SO PROUD!!” or “MY STUDENT JUST WROTE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ESSAY IN THE WORLD!!! SHE IS AWESOME!!! WOOOHOOO!” He doesn’t think this is normal behavior by any means, but he’s gotten used to coming in and seeing me jumping around the room!
5. I am here for them no matter what. Life is tough. High school is tough. Making friends is tough. Being a teenager is tough. School is tough. But a relationship with an English teacher changed my life (and helped me decide on this career!) and I want to pay it forward as often as I can. If there is anything they are going through that I can help with, I want to be there for them. One of my favorite books says, “We are strongest together, holding hands.” I cannot hold their hands through whatever they are going through, but I can give them an electronic high-five and encourage them not to give up.
6. My students make me excited about the future. I am teaching future scientists and politicians and coaches and dancers and teachers and doctors and researchers and firefighters and soldiers and anything and everything they can imagine for their futures. I am seeing them take risks and thing big and work hard. And that makes me really excited to hear about where their lives will take them.
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