This post is a tough one for me to write. I have had a lot of thoughts and feelings rolling around my head for many weeks and I am unsure how to put them into words. However, I think there is value in sitting down and hashing things out in a post in order to hopefully make sense of it all.
I guess I will start by saying that I am not content. I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, I have always been a person that strives for excellence, therefore never, if rarely, finding myself in a place of contentment. However, this feeling is more of a bewildered and frustrated discontentment than I am used to.
I guess you could say that this school year has been a tough one for me. On one hand, I feel that I have more ideas for improving my classroom than ever before. I am connected to some very inspiring educators that are doing great things in their classrooms. Yet, on the other hand, I feel stuck and inadequate. I am not happy with some of the daily activities in my classroom and I want more. I want to leave school everyday feeling excited for the learning that took place in my classroom that day. I want my students to take ownership and to enjoy learning in my classroom. Instead, I’m left wondering why so many of my students are complacent or why the learning is so difficult for some of them.
I have resolved to try “flipping” this unit. I have prepared 5-7 minute videos that summarize and give an overview of the topics we will explore in class. Then, we will try group discussions and more project-based learning. Much of my inspiration for this has come from the classroom of Todd Nesloney (thanks for your webinars). I have also resolved to write down positive things I see happening in my classroom on a daily basis. I am hoping that this will help me keep a positive attitude. Last, I have decided to integrate Twitter as a communication tool and assign students to tweet classroom activities (this is something I have tried to do unsuccessfully for about three years). As teachers, it is so easy to become disheartened and so easy to shift the blame. However, I refuse to blame my students or the pressures of testing and a common curriculum. The only person I can control is myself and I am determined to make the changes necessary to be happy as an educator.