Sunday, 25 January 2015

I AM!!

I was feeling pretty tops today. I can’t really explain it but I was just feeling grand. I had my beautiful two-year old niece here overnight while my sister and her husband went in to the city for a show (I believe it was ‘The Illusionists’ and I am told it was excellent). I woke up feeling rested (a nice change after moving to the noisy suburbs), I felt energised and encouragingly, I felt healthy. The christmas and new year really give your health a solid beating and I have been working real hard of late to get back on track in preparation for what is going to be a whizz-bang busy year.

So, as a result of feeling wonderful and wanting to make sure I do something good for myself, I went for a jog. I like jogging but must admit that it took me over 30 years to feel like that. When I jog I like to completely zone out and forget my troubles, let go of my fears and calm my anxieities. It is akin to meditating I guess and I truly just go completely zen (I fear that if I don’t I will realise how buggered I am and stop running).

Today was a little different as circumstances this week see a million and one new things on the immediate horizon. You see, I am a graduate teacher and on Friday I become the proud leader/ coach/ counsellor/ confidant of 23 (possibly more) eagle-eyed grade 3 students. That’s right, I get to be a teacher; not just a casual teacher** (which I have had a school terms worth of experience as) but a fully fledged, ‘this is my class’ kind of teacher.

** I would like to note that I have nothing against casual teaching as I believe it is an extremely tough job. I do however acknowledge the big differences of being a casual teacher to being a permanent classroom teacher.

My mind, during this job was consumed by thoughts of how do I begin my year with my class? Do I jump right in and talk about rules and expectations (as equally boring as it is necessary)? Do I entertain the troops with one after the other ‘getting to know you’ type activities (also necessary I will admit but thankfully not boring)? Or can I just let them know me, know what I can do for them and introduce myself to them as their biggest cheerleader? Can I teach them to be their own cheerleader?

You see, I have been thinking about our theme for our Challenge Based Learning (learn more about CBL here) topic for term 1; Identity. It’s a really broad topic and I feel really excited about it because it occurred to me on my jog that I can really incorporate the theme of identity from the very first minute of being a classroom teacher. It dawned on me that I am a teacher, I am a coach, I am important to someone, I am special and all these other I ams that this could really be the catalyst for a great year.

Made using
This light-bulb moment made me realise that I want to introduce myself to my class as someone important to them. I want them to listen to all the I ams that I can come up with for me and I want them to think about what they are. I want my students to stand up and proudly say ‘I am someone’, ‘I am important’ or ‘I am worth listening to’. I want to lead my class to share their ‘I am’ moments and teach them to set goals and reach them and be proud of their achievements (even if they don’t fully reach their goals).

You see, I don’t want to just be ANOTHER teacher in these kids lives. I want to be that one person they can all look back on in 20 years time and remember for all the good reasons. I want them to have a year they will remember forever. I want them to learn and have fun. I want them to set personal goals (not just academic ones) and I want to help them and encourage them to achieve any or all of them.

I AM important to these young minds, I AM a driver of positive change and I AM responsible for making a difference that achieves great results now and in to the future.
Who are you? Finish this sentence; “I AM……”.


  1. I AM...inspired! A wonderful post, Dan. You've already set the wheels of production in motion, you've inspired me; you've reminded me why I write those endless essays, reports, and spend long hours at a computer desk. I want that "end-result" feeling, too. To have finally finished, and then have the knowledge of what it feels like to turn that into "work". Changing the long-slog of study, into the very result you've been harbouring towards: completion, then working for your passions. You're going to make a wonderful impact on the lives of those you touch, you already do. I've never forgotten the passionate and enduring, teachers of my past, and I doubt your students will either. Good luck!

    1. Aww, thanks Shan. I think you are an inspiration too. I love reading anything you write - you have an amazing way with words. You too will have that 'end-result' feeling soon so keep at it - YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  2. I AM reassured.

    You ARE awesome Dan.

    You Are going to be remembered by these awesome kids.

    I think that one of your I AM's, "I am male" is going to be important.

    You will make a positive difference just by being You. I love that.

    1. Thanks Catherine. I really think I will leave a lasting impression with these kids. I guess you are right in that "I am male" will be important; a lot of kids don't have a male role model. Sadly we are few and far between. 3 out of 34 teachers at my school are male - not many hey?

  3. Dan
    Your words ooze with beautiful enthusiasm. I think you have hit the nail on the head as you are talking about relationships. A blogging challenge that I am taking part in (#youredustory) recently had a topic that required us to consider our favourite teachers - it was overwhelmingly common that people mentioned the importance of relationships.
    All the best with your exciting year !
    Celia @ccoffa

    1. Thanks so much Celia. I agree, a great teacher makes good relationships and that's what I hope to achieve. I'll have to check out #youredustory.