It's the time of year when teachers come together to separate students into new classes for next year. Part of the meeting involves looking at requests that have been made by parents. One of my current student's family requested a teacher and the description seemed as though they wanted the opposite of me.
It's not personal, of course.
And every family has the right to say what type of teacher would be best for their child. As a parent, I totally get that. I know that my children need a specific type of teacher too- one who isn't overly strict, one who can see past quirks at times to the beauty and brilliance inside. I do get it.
But still, it feels personal. Because teaching is so personal. It's not the kind of job you show up to and leave- punch your card, do your time, then go about your regular life. For so many teachers, being a teacher is an integral part of our identity. We can't and don't shut it off when we walk out of the building. It's such a human profession with so many emotions, decisions, and so much feeling.
So when a parent wishes their child had someone with a different mindset and different style of teaching, while it is completely understandable, it still tugs at my heart. It still makes me feel like maybe I'm off track. It makes me worry that other people feel that way too.
This is the time of year for self-reflection and sometimes regret. There is room to grow. I'm not everyone's cup of tea. It's not personal.
But, still, it feels like it is.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski