Friday, November 4, 2016

Every Day is not a 10! (But today was)

When I took this job, I was very nervous about how it would compare to my days in the classroom. Being a classroom teacher is stressful, slightly chaotic, very busy, and so worth all of it. I loved the victories I had with my students on the personal and academic level. I loved the growth that I could see throughout the course of the year. I loved the people that I collaborated with to plan the most meaningful and long lasting lessons. I loved being a teacher! Therefore, the idea of leaving that all behind and finding that love doing something else was a bit overwhelming. However, just as I expected my students to take risks in order to grow, I had to be willing to step far outside my comfort zone to push myself professionally.

After about 6 weeks in this job my district administrator asked me to rate how I thought it was going. He asked that I use a scale of 1-10 where 1 is I absolutely hate it and 10 is it's amazing. I gave that day an 8. Nothing had gone horribly wrong, I hadn't been offended by anyone's attitude towards me, and I felt fairly caught up on my work (meaning my to do list was on one page not two). He asked what I gave teaching, and I admitted quickly that teaching hadn't been a 10 everyday either. I loved being a teacher, but there were days that I felt things could have gone better, e-mails that hit me the wrong way, or student behaviors that I wasn't please with. I am okay with the fact that not every day is going to be a 10.

I strive for excellence (let's be as close to 10 every day as we can), but I don't strive for perfection. If every day HAS to be a 10, then I fear I will become unwilling to take risks that might lead to failure. I fear that if I hold this expectation of a 10 over my head then I will stop celebrating the successes. Ten days make me feel amazing right now, days that are 8 are fine but remind me that there is something to be striving for.

All of that being said...TODAY WAS A 10!!! What makes something a 10 day? (I know that's what you're thinking) Let me tell/show you!
  1. Amazing progress in the math class that I am co-teaching in. The amount of time that the teacher can spend on small group instruction in our new model is going to help the students immensely. I am already seeing the students more independent in utilizing the technology (tablets and netbooks) and the teacher has learned so much more about each student because of the way we have organized instruction. 3 days in and no turning back!
  2. Awesome planning for science! Our teachers rotate who is teaching science which means a new group of teacher is getting started on a new unit right now, and I had the opportunity to sit down and plan with one of those teachers. Her smile and statement of "This was fun!" was a great way to leave the meeting. The idea that we had 5 days of lessons prepped for next week made me feel accomplished as well. 
  3. I stopped by our middle school science class today to ask a quick question. Instead, I found myself pulled into an engaging conversation about atomic structure and then taken on a field trip inside an atom. Yes, today our young scientists were taken to the back parking lot of the school to understand that if they are holding the nucleus the electrons are on the far ends of the parking lot. It was fun to watch the light bulb above students' heads light up as they could visualize how much empty space exists in an atom, and watching what an engaging lesson our teacher had created was inspiring as well.
  4. Today wrapped up my first quarter of STEM Elective classes. My students in both classes were remarkably dedicated to these classes, but the project created by my Pallet to project students really blew me away. Today they turned in their reflective videos on the process and I was really touched by how much they have grown. 
On top of those 4 things it is Friday, and next week starts new student electives for 2nd quarter. I have a couple of planning meetings and co-teaching opportunities already filled into my schedule for next week and hope the number of chances for me to dive into classrooms continues to grow!Today was a 10, and if Monday is a 10 that will be great! However, if it happens to be a 7 I will just see that as an opportunity to work towards Tuesday being an 8.

Have a great weekend anyone who happens upon my Friday thoughts!

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