Thinking Teaching Creating

Thoughts, Tips, Ideas, and Projects from a Creative Teacher Mama

It’s Easy To Be A Great Teacher…Especially During the Summer When It’s All Plans and Great Ideas

on May 17, 2014

Obviously it’s been ages since my last blog post.  About a school year, to be specific.  For the last several years, I’ve either started a blog or rediscovered the one from the previous year sometime between May and July.  The end of the year makes me reflective, wanting to consider the changes I intend to make for the following school year, while I’m still in “school mode,” but only have a few weeks left and the countdown to summer is on.  Between the reflections on what to keep and what to change, I always have hugely ambitious goals for the next year, and need an outlet to sift through them before I get lost in the daily grind.  As a result, my blog  du jour definitely gets more attention from me during the summer than any other time.  I had (or borrowed) a lot of really fabulous ideas I wanted to implement this year…and didn’t end up doing most of them.  There are even some things that weren’t new to my classroom that ended up being abandoned for one reason or another.  This year in particular, I had a lot of changes going on due to a move in schools and grade levels.

Without getting into too much detail, that single change meant that this year has been more work, with less time to do it during the school day.  I had new curriculum to learn, expectations of a district and school to learn and follow, and the simple fact that I had more students, and they were older than I’ve taught in a long time.  Older students producing longer/more complex work, and having more of them in a class than usual meant the time to grade a stack of papers increased exponentially.  Add to that having fewer planning periods each week for me to do work than I’d grown accustomed to, and I was left with a near-constant backlog of work to accomplish.

That being said, I had a fabulous team to work with, and support from a great facilitator.  Overall, I still think that changing schools was a good decision to support my long-term goals, which was the primary reason I opted to return to a public school district.  Eventually, I’d love to be a facilitator/instructional coach, or something along those lines.  I really enjoy putting together units, researching the newest ideas of how to do things, and integrating technology in the classroom.  Small charter schools just don’t have the funding to have a full-time person whose job is to help the teachers become even better at what they do.  I know I’m not ready for such a role yet, but I am learning more and getting a little better every year.  I think my biggest strength in reaching that goal is my ability to reflect, and my willingness to make changes based on my reflections.  I am definitely able to step back and see where I’m in need of making a change, and then trying my hardest to make it happen.

I already have some changes in mind for next year, and am considering sending a parent survey asking for feedback on particular issues, such as my methods of communication, and the types and frequency of homework they liked or would have preferred.  I’d also like to get into the habit of blogging during the school year; even if it’s just one post a month.




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