It has been a funny school year. I retired in July and began teaching again part time the middle of September and then full time for a few weeks after New Years. The semester has ended and I am now ready to begin retirement again I think.
The I think comes because once I had a bit of open time and returned to the classroom “just” to teach I have had so many new ideas I would like to try with students, so many new books to share and discuss. I have had great conversations with teachers about student writing, math lessons that worked or did not work, books that students are loving to read, and real talk about teaching and learning.
I realize it was never the teaching I wanted to get away from it was the endless meetings, professional development (PD) that was repeated time and time again with out clear focus on the needs of the participants, and paper work that did not help the students or teachers. I was letting the chaos of teaching pull me down. I was not being an advocate for myself.
Once I started organizing my own PD around topics I was interested in or areas I thought I needed to know more about. I was so excited to learn again. I talked with those around me because I was excited about what I was reading and learning.
We ask our teachers to differentiate for individual needs of our students but we seem to forget that when teaching ourselves. I wonder if we could stop and think about how to use best practices for us.
Can you find or free up a few minutes :
- to really read new children’s literature and share it with a fellow teacher
- to make real choices about what professional development might be best for you – great learning can come from just a few minutes of reading educational blogs here and there on the web
- find a teacher to discuss the books students are reading and the stories they are writing (a few minutes after school makes a difference in how you feel about teaching)
- have a discussion about a math lesson or any lesson and what worked or did not work with someone who teaches your grade level
Take back your teaching – it is up to you to keep teaching fresh and fun!