Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lesson Gone Wrong

For those of you who have worked with me before, you know one of the things I constantly do is reflect. Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? What worked and gave me that giddy holy-crap-they're-really-getting-it feeling? What could be improved? What? What? What? I'm constantly asking myself these questions as a first-year teacher. What can I do to improve myself going into the next year of teaching? I constantly am on the lookout for websites that will help me hone my craft of teaching. One of my favorite ones is Teaching Channel. I can watch a video and see how another teacher approaches a concept, the tools they use, and the techniques they implement in the classroom for student engagement. Teaching Channel recently began a new series called Tchr's Cut and I just watched the first video. I love, LOVE this series already. Veteran teachers are discussing what goes on in the background of the videos posted on Teaching Channel and provides us with a look at the sometimes dirty business of teaching. This series makes me feel wonderful as a first-year teacher because I know that even veteran teachers make mistakes. None of us are perfect, but we are all looking at becoming better teachers. My favorite thing about this series is being able to see these veteran teachers reflect on what worked, what didn't, and how they can improve their teaching in future lessons. Here's the link:

This first year of teaching has been a series of dramatic highs and lows for me and I'll be the first to admit that I'm mentally counting down the days until summer. However, I'm also encouraged that even though I have been frustrated, even though I have felt I haven't taught students well, even though I sometimes feel like a total failure as a teacher, I also know that I'm looking at these experiences through the lens of a new teacher. I've been praised as a teacher who has done very well for a first-year teacher, that I work well with my consulting teacher, that I show a positive attitude in wanting to better myself as a teacher, and I have good relationships with my students. This fall I'll be starting a new phase of my teaching career which really excites me. Here's to the next few years of my teaching adventure!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Break

Today is my official first day of spring break.

I count it as the first day because it’s the first day where I’m supposed to be teaching and it’s very obvious that I’m not. Instead, I slept until 10. Drank my coffee at an unaccustomed slow pace. Ate my Cocoa Pebbles as if I had all the time in the world. Watched Netflix. I’m still in my pajamas.
Don’t hate. I’m actually trying to force myself to do this. My brain wants to plan for next week when we’re back in class. I want to look at lesson plans, peruse education articles online, and organize my teaching files on my laptop.

What I AM going to do this week, instead, is read fun books, play video games (Rocket League is calling my name), stretch my writing muscles again, stretch my physical muscles again (I haven’t exercised in an embarrassingly long time), crochet, play on my piano, and do all the things that I don’t have time to do during the school year. I might even clean and do laundry. But that’s at the bottom of the list.

Enjoy spring break if you're on it!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What the Twit??

The inauguration is over. The Trump voters have spoken while the rest of us continue to speak. Across America, citizens are marching for their voice and the voice of others – immigrants, the Black Lives Matter movement, women for women’s rights, planned parenthood, access to birth control. While I don’t condone the violence that’s erupted over the last 48 hours, I do condone voice. Our voice as Americans is part of what makes us who we are as a nation. My fear is over the next four years, our voice is going to be slammed down at every opportunity. While the Trump administration can’t stop us from having a physical voice, they apparently can be more successful in stopping our virtual voice via social media, more specifically Twitter. The National Park Service has been banned from posting tweets as are all Department of the Interior bureaus. Posting anti-Trump tweets on a government site now that he’s President shouldn’t be allowed. I do get that. What I don’t get is a sweeping mandate stopping all Twitter activity until further notice. On one side, maybe it’s so proper training can be given to those in charge of the various Twitter accounts – “don’t post negative things about the President”. I really hope that’s the case because on the other side, the Trump administration is setting up a dangerous precedent for what would be a direct violation of freedom of speech from the very office that’s sworn to protect it. 

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2017 New Year's Resolutions

I love the beginning of a new year. Everything’s new and fresh. You get a chance at another start. Plus, I like making lists so it's my chance to update my resolutions list. 

Here's an edited version of my 2016 resolutions with a little thought into how I'm going to update them for 2017:

1. 2016 - Keep up with my resolutions. Score! I did it. So for 2017, I’m keeping that resolution.

2. 2016 - Lose weight! Well, this one is a little harder to gauge because somewhere between the move to Mom and Dad’s house and in the move out of Mom and Dad’s house into my condo, my scale has up and disappeared so I really don’t know how much I weigh. It’s actually been a bit liberating not knowing for sure how much I weigh and so this year’s resolution may be a bit updated. For 2017, I want to be sure I take care of myself – walk for the health benefits of it, do some light yoga for the health benefits of it. Eat well, but in moderation. If I happened to lose weight because of it, yay! If I don’t, then I’ll still feel healthy. I’m still not 100% sure I’m going to go out and buy a scale…

3. 2016 - Fun read more! I failed miserably at this one. I think I have read fewer books this year than I have in my entire life. So for 2017, I have my Goodreads book goal set to 100 books as you can see in the little box to the right there towards the bottom of the page.

4. 2016 - Manage my time better. I feel like I did better some days with this one than others. I’m getting better at it, though. It’s been a slow process. For 2017, I’m going to continue to try and manage my time better, but forgive myself on the days when I don’t/can’t. 

5. 2016 - Relax. Let’s just say it’s a work-in-progress. I feel like my ability to relax correlates to my ability to manage my time. For 2017, I’ll just keep trying to relax more and forgive myself when I don’t. 

Now that I’ve edited my 2016 goals to match my 2017 goals, they need a little re-ordering. 

1. Relax!
2. Manage my time better.
3. Read more.
4. Take care of my body.
5. Keep up with my 2017 resolutions.

Done! I like keeping my resolutions to just five because if I add more to it, then they're less likely to get done and more likely to get lost in the business of the year. Now, off to work on item #1...

Lesson Gone Wrong

For those of you who have worked with me before, you know one of the things I constantly do is reflect. Where did I go wrong? What could I h...