Hello and happy Saturday. Let me tell you something, I love teaching-related tags because I love hearing from other people’s experiences and reflecting on my own. This is why I decided to share with you another Teacher Tag, this one inspired by The Tutu Teacher, who is absolutely fantastic. I’ll list each question and write my answer below, and I encourage you to share your answers in the comments as well. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. How long have you been teaching?
I’ve actually worked as a private tutor and as a teacher for almost four years, but this is currently my second year working as a school teacher.
2. What grades have you taught? Talk a little bit about your background.
Before starting working at a school, I worked with kids from basically every grade in elementary and middle school. Currently, though, I teach Pre-K, Kindergarten, and the equivalent of first grade.
I have a BA in Teaching Modern Languages from a very prestigious university in Colombia, which is where I’ve lived my whole life. I always knew that I wanted to become a teacher and never really considered other career paths. I enjoy teaching kids from every school grade, but I would never see myself teaching adults. I’m especially passionate about bilingual education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, especially if their native language is Spanish.
3. What grade do I currently teach and where?
Again, I teach Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Transition at a boys school in Bogota, Colombia.
4. What is my school’s mascot?
I’m almost certain we don’t have one. School mascots are not something common in Colombia.
5. How many students are in my classroom?
I’m not a homeroom teacher, so I don’t have my own class. Last year I taught two Pre-K classes with eleven students each, one Kindergarten class with sixteen students, and two Transition classes, one with seventeen students, and the other one with eighteen. That means in total I had 73 students.
6. What is my ideal class size?
I’m not going to lie, I love that my Pre-K classes are so small because that makes everything more manageable and personalized, but to me a class of fifteen students is just about perfect.
7. What is my favorite coffee drink?
We’ve been through this, haven’t we? I’m a straightedge, I don’t drink coffee. At school I always have a water bottle. Water is my fuel.
8. What is my favorite online resource?
Okay, this is funny because literally right before I typed the question, I opened Pinterest. I’ve had a Pinterest account for I don’t know how long and it’s really made me a better teacher. I get inspiration from Pinterest to do bulletin boards, anchor charts, I have access to a ton of free resources and cool TpT stores I didn’t know of, I can discover ways in which my life as a teacher can get easier…and I’m just talking about teaching stuff here.
9. Describe your perfect classroom?
I honestly don’t know if this has to do with the actual physical space or with my students. In both cases I think it all depends on how I’m feeling. In my previous job I had a tiny room for my tutoring sessions, but I made it my own. I made posters with the “classroom rules”, I put dividers in the whiteboard to make a daily agenda, and I did this mini word wall. If it has to do with a physical space, I’d say my perfect classroom should feel like a safe place for anybody who comes in.
As for students, I think it’s kind of the same idea, you know? It’s all about the relationships I as a teacher get to establish with them. I know for a fact that the classes I’ve loved the most and the kid’s who’ve made the most progress with me were the ones I connected with from the start. I don’t expect perfectly behaved kids and I don’t expect students who do well on everything, but I love when I get a group of students that are open to learning, and who show me growth throughout the year. That’s my perfect classroom.
10. What are my favorite and least favorite things about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is the fact that every day is different. Every class I teach is different. Yes, I have a schedule, but each lesson is unique. I love the fact that I need to be creative every second of the day, and that I use those creative ideas to make my classes the best they can be. And if for some reason, I can’t use an idea just yet, I can keep it for later (or, you know, Pin it). Obviously seeing the progress my students make is amazing and it’s what makes me wake up energized every day and be ready for whatever there is to come.
My least favorite thing about teaching, sadly, is encountering people whose main purpose is not seeing their students grow and advance. There are teachers who aren’t really passionate about what they do and who instead spend their time spreading negativity. That’s definitely not what you sign up for when you become a teacher.
11. What is some advice for beginning teachers?
Have fun. I was told this before I started my first year and I didn’t really take that piece of advice seriously, and trust me, I regret that now. New teachers have all this fresh theory and a ton of ideas and this desire to prove to everyone how good they are. And I’m saying this because last year I was just like that. It’s your first year and you’re bound to screw up, not once but many times, so don’t be so hard on yourself, not everything has to be calculated. Have fun! Play music in class, take your students outside, do a lesson on directed drawing. The kids will love it, but more importantly, you’ll be happy, and those memories will be the ones that’ll stay forever with you.
That was the Teacher Tag. Please feel free to answer these questions in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila
PS: Click here to enter my giveaway and win a signed (used) copy of The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.