Conflicted. I feel this way a lot about where our country is going, the work on do on my acreage, and how I teach.

Today, conflict is just flowing like water. I’m a fairly old school kind of teacher I suppose, a homework by the book sort of guy. However, since really diving into Twitter and all that it is, it’s made me reexamine everything that I do, not always with a real positive light.

Along with my teaching comes the things that I do as a teacher. I’ve alway been very straight forward with my students: you will laugh at me as I laugh at you, get angry with me as I get angry with you, struggle with me as I struggle with you, but most of all learn with me as I learn with you. That’s been a constant in all my classrooms. Like me or not, you will always know where you stand with me.

That’s what makes this so tough. I’ve been teaching outside of the box, yet, the box is moving and I’m not sure where it’s landing. As a concrete sequential person, that is so hard to process through. As a result, I get “stuck” in situations that before, would be very black and white to me. Now, there’s too much gray and it’s hard!

This is my second year of teaching literacy, and In following with my mentor who is in sixth grade, I assign a certain number of pages students should be reading outside of class, along with the “20 minutes a night”. Of course, I’ve got students with the “but I forgot it at home” business today, the day it’s due. *sigh* Before, I’d say “well, we’ll see you during your Halloween Party (which happens to be today).” Now, I’m conflicted. There needs to be a consequence, yet, when I’ve allowed for that “second chance” kids eagerly jump for it, and usually use it to the best of their ability.

Anyway, there it is. I am trying to be better to look at what the student is learning vs. what they turn in. But like many of us out there, it’s a long winding road with many detours!