SoDak it Hurts

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 08 2010

Know Thyself or Thy Students Will Smell It

One of the best things I’ve heard said about teaching: There are two things that can smell B.S. – dogs and students.

After reflecting on my first year of teaching, I realize that I might not be the teacher who perfectly scaffolds lessons or has an acute attention to minute student actions or creates games for the kids to play that convince them learning is fun…

But those areas aren’t really areas of strength for me. I feel like teaching has to be like anything else – a concentrated effort to understand yourself,  how you work and how you communicate. I don’t think teaching should be an effort to become someone I’m not.

If I tried to be a different person I would not be a good teacher. The only way to help my kids determine who they are and who they want to be is to join them in the pursuit – daily – and to communicate the importance of continuous self discovery.

As teachers, we are not only responsible for teaching students how to learn – but also how to live.

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    About this Blog

    I taught 10th Grade English on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota between 2009 and 2011. Currently blogging at

    South Dakota
    High School

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