Friday, May 30, 2014

Reflections on my first year as an elective teacher.

I was becoming exhausted as an elementary classroom teacher. I wanted something new. So, I ventured into the elective teacher world. I wrote previously about my new gig here.

One thing I did love in the elementary classroom was the deep connections and relationships I could form with students throughout the year. I even felt myself become a little sad that I probably wouldn't experience that this year. I have 300 kiddos come in and out of my room over the course of two days.

Cue the last day of school. A student, who I truly had connected with, showed up at my door with a plant and a two page hand written letter.

Cue the tears.

I knew I had build a special relationship with her, just relating to common experiences, sharing common interests. I really had no idea I'd made SUCH an impression. Thinking about her, she really is just like me when I was in sixth grade. I'm so glad I connected with her.

Just like that starfish story, I made a difference with that one.

It was a great reminder to me just to keep doing what I'm doing. This year has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed the world of electives. And I still can forge those deep connections.


  1. Hello Mrs. Goerend,

    My name is Jamie and I am in the class EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned to your blog for part of this summer semester. I will be summarizing some of your blog posts on my personal blog that I created for this class and to comment on some of your posts as well.
    No matter what kind of class you teach, it seems like you are still able to connect to different students and make an impact on them. Every type of teacher that students have end up having some type of impression on them and it is always so great to know that it was in a good way.

  2. Mrs. Goerend,

    That is so sweet! I hope to one day have that kind of connection with my students! It's great to know that teachers can have such an impact on students lives.

  3. Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Hannah Armstrong, and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. After reading this blog, I can really tell that you have a passion for teaching. I think that you can still have some great impressions on your students even as an elective teacher. All teachers leave some kind of lasting impression on their students.

  4. I think that it is great you decided to switch and do something different. I was told that you should always be open up to change. It is also sweet at how no matter what you do the kids still love you. You must be a great teacher!

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  6. Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Meaghan Gates. I am at student at the University of South Alabama, enrolled in EDM 310. Building a connection with your students is a rewarding experience. To be able to build that connection within a short period of time shows how much you care about your profession. The student from your story will fashion her own connections after your own.

  7. Hi Mrs. Goerend,
    My name is Leslie Evans. I am a student at University of South Alabama taking EDM310. From reading your blog post, I can tell teaching has to be the most wonderful experience. Being able to build up interest with your students in a short timely manner, proves you love teaching these wonderful students. I love when the student brought you flowers to thank you for all the hard work you've done to teach her. A lot of teachers end up leaving a positive impact on a student. Also, I thought that it was a great idea to switch up from being a elementary teacher to an elective teacher. It's a good way to explore something different outside the elementary classroom.

  8. I am currently obtaining my degree in elementary education after several years in the work force as a office manager. I am happy to read about your transition and the success that you are having. I chose to do a dual certification in both elementary and special education. I figure that if I get burnt out on one I can just transition to the other, and vice versa. Best of luck to you! It is good to know that you did not give up on your goal of making a difference in a students life. That is what makes an extraordinary teacher in my opinion. Best wishes.

  9. Hey there I am Caroline Mitchell and am a student at the University at South Alabama. I loved what you had to say. I hope to form bonds with my students as well and make such a difference. Being a high school teacher I hope I can help my own students one day.

  10. Good evening Mrs. Goerend,

    I’m a EDM 310 student at the University of South Alabama and after reading your blog, I realized how important the connections that we, as teachers, create with students. These connections can be formed over anything and emotions are mixed in as well. Teachers spend so many hours with students it is impossible for a bond not to form. I have heard many teachers say their students are like their children but they never explain why or how. I think teachers sometimes forget how much of an impact we have in students’ lives and it catches us by surprise. When I am a teacher I hope to form a connection with my students as well.

  11. Truly this has touch me in so many ways. As an inspiring middle school teacher, these are the connections I hope to one day form with my own students. It is so wonderful to see educators who really cherish these moments, and bonds made. What a blessing it is to make such an impact on a child.