This time in the classroom is more important than anything else I do. Interacting with my team and their students, getting to know the environment and seeing their willingness to take risks and build on their own professionalism and practice goes a long way. Trying new things may not always go smoothly, but I want them to know they have a partner in me; I'm invested in their success because it matters to our students.
Sometimes I continue to judge myself on some very unrealistic standards. A wise friend once told me to treat myself as I would treat a mentee and be kind to myself remembering what my beginning years as a teacher looked like (the Cliff Notes version is that it was bad... serious understatement, but you get the point). I'm new at this and I can only know what I know and keep learning
As we continue to keep ALL of our kids in mind, it is essential for us to provide continuous opportunities for students to see themselves as smart by their own definitions, not just in the traditional sense. No child should leave a day of school feeling stupid.
Change is hard for everyone and sometimes unless we are exposed to different options, we don't even know they exist. It's my job as a team leader to present ideas and offer a forum for discussion so that we can all hear and grow together.
If you get a funny feeling in your gut that you can't explain, but it nags at you in a way that potentially can keep you up at night, don't ignore it. Believe that you know what is best, even if the path from the decision is not clearly delineated yet.
Guest blogger Dan Rehman shares how to make a vision a reality in a school district. What is your vision and how do you make it happen?
Knowing that change continues to grow more imminent, I will watch, listen and respond to the needs of all the members of my team to the best of my abilities. It's hard to shift practices that we have all grown comfortable with wearing that skin. It's time to shed it and emerge stronger as a team. New years are exciting. It's time to capitalize on the excitement and move forward in a sustainable and meaningful way.
Even though I sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough, when I put my learning down on paper and reread it to myself, I know I'm in the right place. I have a lot to learn, but that is truly exciting and the longer I'm here, the more the teachers and students are opening up to me. They are taking more risks. They are using social media and other technology. I'm proud to be a part of this team (even though I will always miss MY kids). So it looks like never came a lot sooner than I expected and ...
One of the beautiful things about reading is what our imaginations do while we do it. We deeply engage in the world, imagining what it would be like and as soon as a director makes it concrete, that world is suddenly tainted unless it is aligned with our own thought process. It seems that when the author is involved in the making of the movie, it is almost always better than if they aren't.
Being able to share conversations with students about literature they are drawn is a great passion of mine. Teenagers still love to read, they just haven't been given enough permission or choice in school usually to go after the genres or content that appeals to them. We need to find ways to allow students to read what interests them and teach them the skills they need through that content. This is how we will develop a real love and passion for reading that will grow as students grow.