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« Farting Robots??? | Main | Record to Improve? »
Wednesday
Oct252017

Being Challenged

New

First 

Beginning

What do those 3 words mean to you?

What thoughts do those words inspire?

In my 16 years in public education, I have had a lot of new, several firsts, and more beginnings that I can count. I have moved schools (some by circumstance and some by choice). I have moved states. I have moved rooms. I have moved grades. With moving of any kind, there comes a variety of news, firsts, and beginnings.

At the end of last school year, the principal at my current school retired, so here was another opportunity for me experience something new, a first, and a beginning.

We tell our students that for change and growth to happen, things might be a bit uncomfortable; however, it is in that uncomfy feeling that things begin to make sense.

My school year did not start off the way I thought it would …

I took a chance last year and moved back into the classroom in a 3rd grade dual immersion program. At our school, students in the dual immersion program in the 3rd grade are taught in English for 50% of the day and in Spanish 50% of the day. I took on the role of the teaching the English half of the day. I really enjoy what I get a chance to do! My partner teacher and I planned over the summer. I spent time by the pool working on my schedule and gathering resources and reflecting to make this year in 3rd grade even better than last year.

As teachers we must be flexible (remember that I used to be the person who wanted everyone on the same page at the same time, but I am recovering from or overcoming that tendency). As a flexible teacher, I suddenly found myself not in 3rd grade but now in 4th grade, and I would be teaching the same students as I taught last year as well as a collections of news, firsts, and beginnings.

I have taught 4th grade before. It was the same group of students (who already knew what they could and could not get away with in my classroom). And although there were some tears at not working with my awesome co-teacher, I embraced the change and got ready for a new adventure.

Some adventures are shorter than others …

Soon I was moved back to teaching 3rd grade, which again resulted in some news, firsts, and beginnings.

I enjoyed my week as a 4th grade teacher. I enjoy my time as a 3rd grade teacher. I enjoy what I do!

Another new, first, and beginning for me this year was a new principal.

That principal came in with new ideas to share about restorative justice, a literacy focus, parents, volunteers, dismissal, lesson plans, copies and even reading homework. But even with the new ideas, I could tell there was one central focus …. the learning of our students.

I like to ask my students clarifying and probing questions to get the most our of their answers.  

I am now being asked clarifying and probing questions to get the most out of me as a teacher to benefit my students (or I guess I should say OUR students).

I am not being asked to things or to answer questions that are beyond my ability. I just have to slide out of the comfort zone and go deeper with my thinking and questioning.

That is what I want for my students to do …

Why should someone not expect that from me?

Why should I not expect that from myself?

I can’t tell you how much time I have spent looking at Depth of Knowledge activities, verbs, questions, and sentence starters already this year.

And I am not just looking at them, but analyzing, synthesizing, and applying them

But I feel like it is making me better …

It is challenging me to really examine what is happening in my classroom.

It is challenging me to form more meaningful relationships with my students, their parents, and my coworkers.

It is challenging me to really look at my curriculum using a different lens.

It is challenging me to have even higher expectations for my students.

It is challenging me to have even higher expectations for myself as a teacher.

References (4)

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Reader Comments (6)

Awesome! :)

October 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrierley Ash

best

October 3, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersophia

Very nice. I like this post. I think you can do better. Thanks for posting

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November 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJay Jones
November 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKara J

Obviously, teaching is a challenging job, and there is also a great career. But it's not fit on everyone. So, think before you choose your career stream. If you are not sure about your career take an Online Aptitude Test and select the right one.

December 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercareeraptitudetest

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