I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now, but forgot to hit “publish.” Anyway, during my last English Dept. meeting, my dept. head asked us to think about what is keeping us from being the teacher we want to be. Our answer couldn’t be “having more time” because everyone needs time (though perhaps managing time could be an answer), but she wanted us to take time and think…
This question is something I think about all of the time honestly. And there is one simple answer: me, myself, & I.
I have so many ideas that sometimes I feel bogged down. 1) because I’m afraid these ideas are too “different” they won’t be successful perhaps? 2) because I have a hard time deciding which idea to use at what time perhaps? 3) because I devise great plans off of these billion and one ideas and forget to put them to use until after I had planned to use them perhaps? (if that one even makes sense, ha!)…seriously, the list could go on. But overall, it’s something with my over abundance of ideas that weighs me down at times….thus, I am my biggest obstacle to overcome to become the teacher I want to be.
I also have found myself frustrated with time (though that’s not allowed as an answer), but not time in the sense of grading, planning, you know, those sorts of things (though I will touch upon this in a new post to come). I notice time issues with my planning in advance…coming in, of course I wasn’t familiar with exactly what trip week entailed or spirit week or conference day or … this list continues as well…but now I’m being hit hard by it. I’ve been flexible and switched things around here or there, but unhappy with how certain things turned out. For example, Canterbury Tales with my seniors…let me tell you all, I was SO looking forward to teaching it this year (especially after not being able to include all of my creativity last year when I taught it), and I feel that it has been an EPIC FAILURE, haha. OK, so not really epic, but it didn’t play out how I wanted it to…trip week sorta threw me for a loop with it and I didn’t like how it was broken up (prologue before trip week, tales after). The stretch of time was just too long and something I will definitely need to reconsider for next year. (Then again, it’s not a total failure because I learned from it and have had to think on my feet…and I believe anytime we learn and change to be better next time, we have never been a failure!)
So, how am I going to combat myself? Well, I’ve come up with a few strategies.
- keep a notebook of my ideas as they come. literally cross them off as I go. that way they never “disappear” out of sight
- start saving ideas via twitter. it has become an instantaneous place for me to RT (“retweet”) ideas I like
- get back on diigo/delicious. (side note: want to incorporate diigo with sophmores’ research projects in spring)
- stop posting blog drafts and hit PUBLISH! (this has become a bad habit and keeps all of you readers wondering if I’m still alive. (LOL, ok, I’m being a bit dramatic, but you all get the point)
- be confident and go for it! (it = random ideas that come to mind that I think will be effective in the classroom. try it. learn from it. tweak it. and try it again)
- copy/collect students’ work examples after I grade to go back to and see what worked and what I (and the kids) liked
Anyway, that’s a little bit about my thoughts on my own teaching right now. I’ve always said that as long as I’m learning, too (again, refer to the About page for more on the “too”), then I’m going to be OK and will work towards becoming the teacher I want to be. Then again, I think it’s good to constantly strive to be THAT teacher…THAT teacher meaning one that constantly changes and improves his/her pedagogy.
I wonder what others would say about what’s keeping them from being the teacher they want to be as well…