I revisited it again 5 years later, and Timehop reminded me that was 4 years ago today. Each time, I have seen some significant changes, but also some noticeable commonalities. I've met some of those goals I had set for myself, but the main theme is I keep growing and learning and trying new things.
- I am a good teacher because I don't settle. I keep looking for more ways to help students experience success and to want to learn.
- If I weren't a teacher I would be a writer. For a time I relied on my students to keep me human, but I think I'd be able to balance my curmudgeonliness better now.
- My teaching style is loose. This freaks some
administratorspeople out. I have general outlines of plans and expectations for behavior, and I can tolerate a lot (too much?) I'm reigning it in a bit, but I don't think I could be happy being strict.
- My classroom is windowless. And not my own. Working at an early college is awesome, but there are downsides to essentially renting space on a college campus.
- My lesson plans are two sets of Google spreadsheets now: one with a semester outline and one with weekly tabs those requisite intricacies like objective alignment and warm-ups.
- One of my teaching goals is finding a balance between appropriate expectations for novice language learners and meaningful real-world project-based learning experiences.
- The toughest part of teaching is keeping up. You get ahead a little, think you can take a break and then wham! Snow days. Or wham! 68 projects to grade. Or wham! Three 12-hour workdays in a week. And then a virus. That goes through your whole family.
- The thing I love most about teaching is creativity. This is the one thing that has not changed in 10 years. I like how I get to write and draw and invent every day, and then my kids crack me up and blow my mind on a daily basis.
- A common misconception about teaching is that it's something we do to students rather than something we entice them to participate in.
- The most important thing I've learned since I started teaching is seeing students first. I'd heard the platitudes about teaching KIDS not SUBJECTS, and I thought I followed them. Until "Jenny," I was still too caught up in myself to see the source of insults and anger as anything but personal. I am proud to report Jenny is getting all A's and B's her first year of college now, and her son is a bright, happy two-year-old!
Pausing to put into words how I feel about my practice--and myself--has been a useful exercise each time. It's nice having a record of where I'm going and where I've been, too. I also really enjoy it when other teachers chime in and share their experiences, too, because it's another way to see not only ourselves but what we could be for our kids.
So...what kind of teacher are you?
Post your answers in the comments or send me a link!
I'm noticing some common themes of a growth mindset, creativity, and flexibility in the posts I've seen so far. I love how much we all have in common! I think some of the most enlightening responses from me have been about what we would be doing if we weren't teaching and our classroom setups.
and posts from more great educators!