Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting Back In the Groove

Since graduation, I have been in a blogging slump. I have still been reading others’ blogs but have been struggling to make my own posts. I am in the process of packing up my life and transitioning back home for the summer (just the summer!!). I will be hunting for apartments when I am all settled in two weeks. I recently had a meeting with my building principal for next year to discuss Professional Development this summer. During the first week in June I have one half day of Math PD and another half day of Reading PD. The Math series is Everyday Math, which was not used in the district in which I student taught. I am anxious to learn more about the curriculum and start thinking about how I will teach it to my kiddos!! This district does use pacing guides and it is my understanding that the expectation is that you stick to it with little deviation from it. I don’t feel totally uncomfortable with this since it is my first year and I probably won’t have the time I would like to devote to “out of the box” teaching, but hopefully more experience will bring more opportunities for broadening my horizons.

There was something that my principal brought to my attention that I am not exactly sure how I feel about it. She wants me to consider a possible change to my position- working part-time in the 2nd grade classroom and spending the other half of the day being trained for Reading Recovery. I don’t feel comfortable with this because I don’t like the idea of being a part-time teacher, nor do I want to go back into the world of observations, homework, and tests just yet. She said that it will be my decision but she wants me to keep it in the back of my mind. I am pretty confident my mind is made up already, but I would love to hear some different perspectives from my bloggy friends out there!! Thanks!

Friday, May 7, 2010


I have been doing quite a bit of running around today....getting ready for my GRADUATION tomorrow!! It feels so good and I am so excited to end this chapter of my life and move on to the next. This time last year, I was really upset that all of my friends were graduating 'on time' and I wasn't. Everything happens for a reason and at least I can say that it took me five years because I am a double major and I studied abroad for a summer!!!!! I look forward to spending time with my family and friends this weekend. Congrats to all of those who are graduating this month!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reflection on Student Teaching

This last week has been bittersweet. Even though I will still see most of my students over the next few weeks (after school program, field trips, etc.), it was tough to say ‘goodbye’. They threw me a going away party and they all went around and said what they enjoyed about having me as their teacher. I was almost moved to tears when one student said that I was tough on them, but it was because I knew they could be great!! In spite of the incredible challenges I have faced this year with my placement, I would not trade it for the world. The bonds I have formed with the staff and children in my school will never be forgotten. This experience has helped me to formulate my ideas and opinions on what is important as an educator. These are just some of the lessons I have learned.

 Collaborate with other Building Staff- two heads are better than 1!
 Discipline with Dignity- when students are respected, they will respect you (most times!)
 Be Humble- don’t act like you know it all. When students see you at your vulnerable points, they learn that everyone has them and they can be overcome.
 Don’t take it Personally- many of the disrespectful behaviors students may exhibit don’t have anything to do with you personally. It is often that they lack strategies needed to deal with their feelings in a more constructive way. When you don’t take things personally, you are more able to attack the problem, rather than the child.
 Laugh- there are many stressful times throughout the day, so in order to remain sane, you have to laugh. Do your best to make light of trying situations.
 Take Time for Yourself- This is something that I still struggle with personally, but I understand how critical it is to have a life outside of the classroom. The more burnt-out you are, the more that weariness will transfer to the students. Refresh yourself so that you can be refreshing to your students.
 Always Look for the Positive- Being a ‘Debbie Downer’ becomes a burden not only to those who have to listen to the constant negativity, but also ‘Debbie’ herself. The perspective you take on the things that transpire in your life/career determine the resulting path those events take. We want our students to be positive and always look for the best in themselves and situations- we should expect the same from ourselves.

It is my goal to live by these lessons that I have found so important to my growth as an educator. I have tried this entire year to practice taking my own advice. If I expect something of others, I should be willing to do the same thing. I know there are many more lessons to be learned on my journey as an educator and I am ready to face them with humility, laughter, and a positive perspective.