Monday, May 09, 2011

Desks, Basals, and Forward Thinking Oh My

Changes are abounding in the 6th grade classroom. It has been a long, interesting year. I truly have learned to appreciate all my students for various reasons. It is true that this class has almost driven me to a new career, but I don't think I would trade this year for anything. I have learned many lessons and I look forward to taking this new found knowledge and put my energy in to next year's plans. Some of the more MAJOR changes include:

Change #1) I am changing from tables back to desks. I truly believe that the attitude and development of students has changed drastically in the past 5 years when I first went to tables. I have noticed that the introduction of cell-phones, etc. has altered the way that students are interacting with each other, and it has led to a situation that is not functional for school. So, hello desks AGAIN! :)

Change #2) I decided to pull several key students aside today and have a discussion. I timed it throughout the day. I told these students that I wanted to apologize for my behavior towards them with the snotty comments, etc. and that I want to work together moving forward. It actually made a difference with them and my day did go a bit better. side note: Not ONE of them acknowledged that they were also at fault, nor did they attempt to apologize. Oh well. That wasn't the point of the discussion with them. So, while it was hard to go to my students and ask for forgiveness and apologize, I walked away feeling much better.

Change #3) I am going to move away from the math program that we are currently using and use two more traditional programs next year. I do not feel that the program is meeting the needs of my students as it has in the past (again I attribute this to the change in student attitudes). I guess I am going from being a huge proponent of the program to one that is looking at abandoning it completely. I think it will warrant many odd looks from my colleagues whom I have pressed for over three years to use the program. But when proper support was not provided as promised, I find it hard to continue to support it. So, welcome back old program!

Change #4) Total revamp of my entire approach to teaching. For far too long I have been teaching programs, not concepts or students. I have always prided myself on being current on "best practices" in education. But I find that what I thought were best practices are indeed outdated ideals in need of replacing. So, welcome change #4 which will eat up a large portion of my summer...but welcome none-the-less.

Change #5) To FORCE myself to enjoy teaching regardless of the struggles, challenges, or frustrations that come my way. Okay, so I know this one will be a HUGE one for me. But I figure if I don't make it a goal and make an effort to achieve it, then how can it ever happen?

There are more changes I am planning to implement. Like less computer time (every other day instead of EVERY day), redesign of my reading instruction, and more.

Cross your fingers and hope these changes lead to a new me!


1 comment:

  1. If you are forcing yourself to enjoy something then it will be just that a struggle and your students will know you are forcing yourself. You need to do a retreat - get away from everything for a day or two - just go to a place where you can be alone for a few hours even, and meditate, write, think, and renew your vision. Come back with a renewed attitude and then you dont have to force yourself to enjoy anything. When we struggle to enjoy something we had for so long, time for a small vacation - from everything - I know that'a hard to say with a family and all but still it has to be done - you need your time too.

    I shut down when work has become a struggle for me - and after a day or two, I'm back at it and totally doing better than before. Good luck with all your new ideals and ideas for the upcoming year. See you in the postings - Mrs. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-states, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?


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