As I conclude this school year, I realize that I have been a teacher for five years! That time comes with many valuable realizations and lessons…not only about me as a teacher, but also as an autistic person.
Here are five important takeaways: one for each year in the classroom.
- I need to just focus on me. Each teacher has his/her own distinct style. Just as colleagues should not question my methods, I should not question theirs if the overall objectives are being met.
- Consistency is key. To have control of my classroom means following through and staying true to my words.
- Every slip up is a learning opportunity, not career suicide.
- Personal struggles can be great teaching tools.
- What was once a concern now sets me apart from others in the best of ways. I feared my autism would inhibit me from becoming a teacher, but after being given a chance and proper mentorship, I feel that I have now joined the ranks of seasoned professionals. Through my experiences, I contribute valuable insights to students, parents, and teachers alike.
In conclusion, I recognize that teachers are forever students.
I will never be the perfect teacher, but I am, have been, and always will be the perfect learner.