22 March 2011

Teacher Meme Revisited

  1. I am a good teacher because I always experiment and have learned to adapt to my students' needs and caprices.
  2. If I weren't a teacher I would be a translator, or perhaps an editor. I suspect it would be easier to find translator work, though.
  3. My teaching style is different, changing, heavily influenced by my online twitter PLN at #langchat and the few grad classes I've taken as well as the National Board's insidious WLOE requirements.
  4. My classroom is rather large, increasingly organized (if you don't look at my desk), and could use more computers, perhaps a printer.
  5. My lesson plans are on an excel spreadsheet, with a different page for each class. Descriptions are brief, but allow me to figure out what went on when and to plan a semester relatively cohesively.
  6. One of my teaching goals is good essential questions for every unit of Spanish I and II. Lessons are so much more meaningful that way, and it keeps me away from grammatocentrism.
  7. The toughest part of teaching is the TIME it takes. I could be much awesomer with more hours in a day to plan...and to eventually make myself grade.
  8. The thing I love most about teaching is the experimentation and the creativity required.
  9. A common misconception about teaching is that anyone can do it. I'm saying it takes on-the-job experience PLUS training with experts and ready access to useful sources, PLN's, etc.
  10. The most important thing I've learned since I started teaching is it never stops. I will always have to add and adapt, though I can occasionally fall back on past experiences, but I must ALWAYS consider the audience before I walk in the room.

When I started this meme almost 5 years ago, I had been teaching a mere 2 years and some change, had not yet begun teaching Spanish, had neither experienced divorce nor motherhood, and still was not ready to attempt National Boards or grad school

This is what the younger me said:

  1. I am a good teacher because I am creative and constantly seeking new and more effective ways to reach each of my little babies the young men and women in my classes.
  2. If I weren’t a teacher, I would be some other kind of academic in the ivory towers of education, maybe locked up in an office researching and writing esoteric essays on multicultural literature and learning other languages.
  3. My teaching style is not exactly sarcastic, but kind of teasing and, I would say, constructive.  I try to build on the skills and abilities my students have already, but I'm not above a few zingers to put the mouthy ones in their place--all in good fun.
  4. My classroom is typically comparable to the wreck of the Hesperas.  The walls are very colorful and, some would say, elementary, but all horizontal surfaces tend to have piles of books and papers up to a foot high.
  5. My lesson plans are constantly changing.  It is good for me to plan the week ahead of time, even if it never stays the way I planned it Sunday night.
  6. One of my teaching goals is to organize myself--courses, grading, paperwork, and the day-to-day, in class and out.
  7. The toughest part of teaching is motivation.  I feel like I'm stranded in a culture of apathy and entitlement.  It's hard to make the young ones want to learn.
  8. The thing I love most about teaching is being creative and witnessing creativity.  It's so cool to see what kids come up with, things I would never have thought of, whether it's a slant on a reading passage or a way to shut a mouthy kid up.
  9. A common misconception about teaching isthat there is a formula that anyone can use to be successful at it.
  10. The most important thing I’ve learned since I started teaching is F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y.  I need to overplan, but I also need to be able to shift plans around at a moment's notice and still find a way to accomplish what needs to be accomplished

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