"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

30 December 2012

I don't remember the time when I decided I would teach after college. I don't remember the logic behind it or why exactly I chose it, except it seemed to make sense in comparison to sitting at some desk, working for a cause, because how would that actually connect me with the cause and make me feel as if I was making some difference? If anything, that's what I remember most about the decision I made to teach, not wanting to sit at a desk and hope and wish but rather, see things change on the ground and have the chance to witness at least a couple kids' growth over the course of a year.
I've come a long way from that now and mired down in the self-pity and almost despair that comes from being a first-year teacher. Confused, arrogant and helpless at the same time I flounder trying to find ways to make my life easier and seeming to just waste more time. I wonder how my kids would do if they had a different, more experienced teacher. When I get evaluations that aren't good I question myself and my entire ability to perform in the teaching profession. I've never thought about leaving but I know at once that I need a firmer grip hold to grasp, knowing where I'm going next FROM where I've been. And I don't know if I know where I've been. I've been floundering, I've been wishing, I've been doing the same things in an attempt to achieve different results, and I'm afraid of trying new methods now because I know they might fail and they might now work. But if I don't have faith in them, how will my kids? I expect them to believe in something that I don't even believe in?

 My classroom has to be a place of dreams. It has to be, because I am a dreamer. However practical and pragmatic I've grown to be, I'm still a dreamer at heart and always will be. And it has to reflect that and encourage that in a practical way. It's all really a game of attachment, I think. I'm scared of saying, "I am this, I am a teacher," and then failing at that because what does that mean? Who really wants to let anybody down? The real reason I became a teacher was because of how I felt when I was in school. I didn't like it and I didn't feel like many people understood me. Yet when I was able to succeed, when I was able to love certain subjects or certain things, I started to fly and from then on out achieved success. I know I have to be more patient with myself in terms of giving it time to become better. I cannot become a master teacher overnight. I have to release the pressure. It's hard not to want to be better though. Understanding, what's at stake....it's deep man. It goes really deep.

23 December 2012

It has officially been one full semester of teaching. Crazy, right? It doesn't feel like it. Not at all. You could tell me that just a few weeks ago I moved here, started, and am still getting my bearings and I would believe you. But in fact it's been a full semester. I don't feel like I've had enough time to breathe let alone reflect in a productive, responsible way. It's been a semester of catching up, of wondering, of scratching together something from nothing, of worrying whether I'm doing it right, of failure and exhausting, of teaching and learning, of managing and planning and more exhaustion, of yelling, of sighing, of hoping and dreaming. I don't know if I've learned anything actually. Have I? It's been more of a race to the top. I don't know if I'll know when I get there. All I know is, it's been a scramble. Not neat, not tidy the way I want it. I'm okay with how things have been but I'm also just tired of everything. The break came at the right time. And now I have to prioritize and figure out how I'm going to get better. I wish I was better at this. I wish it came more naturally. I wish my kids respected me more and we got more done. But instead it feels like a constant struggle. I don't feel like I'm doing the best I can I feel like I'm just surviving at best. I feel like my money I've invested in rewards or such has gone to waste. And I feel like I don't know where I'm heading. But that's what this break is for. Getting my bearings. Figuring out where I'm going. Figuring out why I'm here. It's always okay to fail as long as you reflect and figure out why you did and figure out how to prevent it. I think the number one thing I've done wrong is not having a behavior management plan that is full and that works. Behavior is getting in the way of everything. It's getting in the way of learning, of teaching, of simply getting in a line to move on to the next class. I can't believe how much behavior has gotten in the WAY lol, if you have told me this would be the achievement problem in my classroom, I would not have believed you six months ago, but indeed, here it stands. Anyway. It's shaping up to be a great holiday season. And even though we only get a week off, I'm determined to make the most of the week and get as much rest as possible. So off to treating myself!