Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stolen Meme

Nancy just did (re-did?) this one. And I'm pretty sure she did it before too and tagged me. [EDIT: It was another teacher meme she tagged me for. Oh well. I'm not too proud to invite myself to the teacher meme party.] I'm finally completing it in an effort to get myself in the mood for school and in the hopes that sometime in the next couple days I'll get my plans written down so I'll feel like I can tackle this thing called a job.

1. I am a good teacher because…
Education is really important to me, and I am knowledgeable and passionate about my subject area.

2. If I weren’t a teacher I would be a…
public speaker.

3. My teaching style is…
not so much with the workshop model (GASP!!!). Sometimes, sure. But a seven minute mini-lesson is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. I do go through the "here's something," "let's talk about it/you guys figure it out," "discuss," "do it together," then "now see what you can do." And that hardly ever fits in a class period. But I do feel that it involves the students a bit more and encourages them to pay attention.

maybe?

4. My classroom is…
always full of books and piles of stuff, and music if I can help it.

5. My lesson plans are…
often done in my head and on the spot. I'm good at speaking and teaching on the fly. However, there are times when I'll do a whole week at a time, all printed out on a sheet, and I'll feel so proud and productive. At the beginning of the year, I will map out several weeks or a month at a time. It makes me feel prepared. Once the spring hits, though, those written plans disappear, just like my patience. :)

6. One of my teaching goals is…
To not take things personally. To be more patient and openly caring. And to start tracking students a bit closer with their writing.

7. The toughest part of teaching is…
Dealing with the tough kids that I can't get through to. And having no money. And waking up early.

8. The thing I love about teaching is…
Trying to get new ideas and concepts through to students. Not just dialogue format and verb tenses, but world travel, current events debates, google tips, etc. Things that I link to school but really are important knowledge for citizens of the world today. I love getting (forcing?) kids to care about something other than myspace and the new ridiculous song on the radio.
The other best thing is seeing student progress. Test prep progress doesn't exist in my opinion, but writing progress is clear to see. It's exciting to know something is getting through and feeling effective. Not that this happens much, mind you.
And yes, I love the much-needed vacations.
Oh, and the community of good, fun teachers, if you can find it. I'm grateful for the teacher-blogger community for providing friends, mentors, idea-bouncers, and the knowledge that we're all going through the same things together.

9. A common misconception about teaching is…
That teachers are stupid. (Some are, certainly. But I'm not, and I make sure to surround myself with others who are sharp and thoughtful and skilled educators [often better than me].)

10. The most important thing I’ve learning since I started teaching is…
I never feel effective enough. Or patient enough. Or able to deal with difficult parents. These are important things because I'm stubborn and don't like to give up, so I have to keep trying to improve myself.


This has made me feel a bit better.

You know what else did? Last week (?) I wrote up a resume and cover letter to submit to a charter school, to feel like I was being proactive about my dread for my continuing job. I had to do several drafts because I kept thinking of more things I've done. And honestly, I kick ASS on paper. I was really impressed with myself (in an observer kind of way) and what I've done in the last three years.

I've got plans and ideas for this year too: more trips, even better bookroom makeovers, homework club after school, possibly a community service club. I'm excited about all those things. Just not about the everyday ins-and-outs of teaching.

Like it or not, tomorrow I have to suck it up and meet the new staff and admin and get my room set up. Hoo boy.

2 comments:

Nancy said...

D'oh. I totally forgot I was supposed to tag people. LOL!

Thumbs up for being pro-active!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Really? A common misconception about teachers is that they're stupid? I've never heard that before. But I have met several that made me wonder how they got into the profession. One of them is long-time friend of mine. She teaches third grade, but is dyslexic to the point that her writing is sometimes unintelligible. She's a fine person and definitely not stupid, but honestly, I wouldn't want her trying to teach any child of mine how to read and write.