Friday, September 12, 2014

Reflective Thinking on Being a Teacher!

I know that there are teachers who are on the battlegrounds everyday; schools where there are so many barriers to being an effective teachers. There are people who are 'called' to be in those schools, and I commend the work that they do. I have been there before, and I had to come to the realization that it was not for me. Not that I felt that I was above those schools that require a dedication that goes beyond the call of duty, but being on that type of battleground was just not for me. I gave it my best try, but I prefer schools that have textbooks, technology, a certain level of professionalism, rules and regulations that are followed, paper to make copies with, copy machines that work most of the time etc. You feel me; there are basic things that I prefer in order to help students to be all that they can be. Can I teach without these things? Yea, I can, and I have, but the toll on my body and personal life was enormous.

So, when I am in my two classes of nine and eighteen 12th grade students, I never take this privilege for granted.

This week we have been doing presentations on the self-selected books that they read during the summer, and I am  in complete amazement at the books that they chose to read and the depth of knowledge that they displayed during their presentations. I have heard presentations on Into the Wild, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Paradise Lost, and Frankenstein, all done with creativity, enthusiasm, and with quite a bit of research. I thought that I knew everything about William Shakespeare, and this year, I have heard a few things that I have never heard before. I am so thrilled about the possibilities of where these students and I can go. I am learning soooo much.

With my 10th graders, I am focusing on the fixed vs. growth mindset in order to help them to understand that yea, reading may be difficult for them, but they can use strategies to get better. I am reinforcing that their brains are malleable and with hard work, dedication, and practice; they can and will improve.

I put this on the wall in my classroom as a reminder to them and me that we can and will become better in areas that we work on:

Now, as the year progresses, challenges will come up: students will have attendance issues, will not do homework, will not pass test etc. But, I will try and remember to not complain and to be grateful.

I am looking forward to trying to stay focus on the students and not losing site of the big picture: taking students a little further than they were when I got them.

Happy Friday, My People


Tracy Ricks said...

You have ALWAYS been a great teacher. 😉

Jacqueline said...

Thanks Tracy!

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