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Reclaiming the Lost Moments of Your Teaching Career

Reclaiming the Lost Moments of Your Teaching Career

Tom DeRosa

I frequently ask my students for feedback, both formally and informally. Arguably the most important feedback I get is from mid-year and end of year surveys that ask a lot of probing questions. Normally I look at the results just after the school year is over, but last year was different. I had a traumatic year, both personally and professionally, that shook me to my core. I questioned my ability and desire to continue subjecting myself to the internal and external pressure that had overtaken me.

Needless to say, I wanted to distance myself from the events of the past year as much as possible. Last year’s end of year surveys were filed away quickly, and although I did look at them, I completely blocked it from my mind until I found them this week.

I’ve always preached that you should find the good in everything, whether it be a useless professional development workshop or that one class that drives you crazy. I’ve spent a good deal of the time since last June thinking about everything except last year, failing to confront the issues and emotions that basically crushed my soul. I neglected to follow my own advice, and in doing so, I threw out the good with the bad.

Today I was finally ready to go back and look at what my students had to say at the end of the year, both good and bad. As I consider my options for the upcoming school year, I needed to confront these issues before I could move forward as a teacher. Below you will find some very interesting responses that I wanted to share.

If you found out that your friend/family member was going to be in Mr. D’s class next year, what would you tell him/her?

“That Mr. DeRosa is an excellent teacher.”
“I would say that Mr. D’s class is the best class that have PCA honestly is more better than other classes!” [from an ESL student]
“Don’t do it to yourself (JK) He is a really good teacher you just have to pay attention.”
“That you can actually learn something in his math class, and you probably won’t forget it.”
“He’s a good teacher and speaks Spanish.”
“Listen because he can teach you alot and when you need help he is there.”
“To be prepared for all the hard work cause its going to be a long ride.”
“Well what I would tell them is that I was a pain in the [butt] and every teacher should have one.”
“He is always on point and he is very smart. He is willing to help you with anything.”

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