October, when a child’s thoughts turn to football, jumping in piles of leaves, and Halloween candy.
October, when a teacher’s thoughts turn to end of the quarter assessments, parent teacher conferences, and tweeking the routine set up.
As October snuck up on me, a few things have become apparent in my own teaching:
1) I need to learn to ask for help. I’ve taught math/science or literacy/science for thirteen years, and I’m struggling trying to do math and social studies on top of things. It doesn’t help that I really don’t have a curriculum to follow, so I’m working way to hard to create my curriculum using the Common Core as a guide. Even with the CC, finding worth while activities, both for seat and white board takes a ton of time. Add on the social studies, again with no true curriculum, and I’m working as hard as I ever have.
2) I’m loving my teaching. No, I don’t think I’m an expert teacher, far from it, and by the amount of hours I’ve put in, I’ve got work to do. However, I’ve got an awesome class, we are trying some different things, and I feel as though I’m not going a bad job getting the CC taught. If I could work out my organizational issues, I’d be feeling even better, but those have been with me since I can remember.
3) My life is out of balance. With all the work I’m doing, I’m not feeling good about the amount of time I’m spending with my family. Yesterday, my wife and I worked hard to finish up some fencing that’s been around for three months, something that we should be able to do, but yet, Sundays, I’m at school planning or correcting. And if it’s not at school, it’s at home. My classroom clutter is invading my home, much to the dismay of my wife!
4) I work with the best staff in the world. Period. We work hard together, we moan about the state of things, but we all are so student-centered. It’s a tribute to who we are as a staff, in the face of some really brutal changes transpiring the the background. To simply become “a teacher” would be so easy right now, yet, we strive for more, and laugh a lot in doing so.
It’s a new month. My garden is in need of tending, I need to repair the snowblower from LAST year, and I’m running to cross country and swimming every weekend. I need to make some changes and I’m ok with that. It’s ok to keep working towards being a better teacher, noting what you’ve done well, finding that balance that makes you not just a teacher, but someone students can look up to.
October 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm
I enjoyed this post, Darin! We often put so much into getting the year off on the right foot that we hit October and see that our effort level is unsustainable. It’s like distance running, this profession! We’ve got to pace ourselves and enjoy the scenery!