“You know what, Mrs Schneider? You’re my favourite supply teacher!” (boy, 4th grade)
“It’s Mrs Schneider, What a great day!” (Grade 8 boy, and I’m just going to pretend it wasn’t because he perceived it to mean he could slack off!)
“Mrs Schneider is awesome!” (overheard 2 grade 6 girls in conversation in the hallway)
“You know, the kids really enjoy having you in the classroom!” (A teacher whose room I was recently in for the day)
Knowing the staff and students is definitely a benefit to working in a school on a regular basis. Sometimes as an occasional teacher, we do not have the opportunity to build such a rapport. While it is great to work in many schools to gain experience in many different settings, there are some definite advantages to having a “main” school. These benefits are evident to everyone:
Students get to know me and I get to know them. I am able to greet most of them by name as they exit the bus, or enter the classroom, or as I pass them in the hallways. I tend to know more of them by name than some of the staff, as I teach in across all the grades and subjects.
Teachers and other staff also come to know me, and I them. This means I learn about the teaching styles of many teachers and become familiar with their classroom routines and expectations. Teachers also do not mind leaving less-detailed lesson plans. Sometimes we can connect, previous to an assignment, to go over the day in person. Or, if they were not expecting to be away and know I will be in, they are comforted by the fact that I know the routines and where supplies are and the students’ names, personalities and quirks.
I become familiar with the school’s procedures, rules, routines and expectations. This makes everybody’s lives easier.
Even parents come to know me. Knowing their child’s anxiety is less than when they have to meet a stranger is helpful, in some cases more than others. Who are we kidding, in some cases, it may ease parents’ anxiety more than their childrens’.
When I go to those familiar schools, I believe it is often a more productive and comfortable day for a lot of the people involved in the school.
And, when everyone is happy, we can get on with happily learning.
We can BUMP IT UP – DO BETTER TO BE BETTER!