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Change is Exciting

Yesterday we went back to school for one day. Today is a snow day. Tomorrow is the weekend.We will try again next week.

I am, as any teacher is, thrilled to be home today – even if my puppy still doesn’t understand the concept of sleeping in. I was able to make a hot breakfast and now I have time to blog before I venture out in the snow to pick up the kids for the weekend.

All that to say…I am anxious to get the 2014 ball rolling in my classroom. It’s not a new school year, but a new semester and I discovered a few things during break that made me rethink and revamp my plans and my teaching ideas.

Sometimes I feel like I have commitment issues as I change strategies, routines, and techniques.  But as I’ve fully embraced the ideas I’m about to try in my Resource Room and wrap my brain about how I’m going to pull this off and how it’s going to make things better in my classroom, I know that it’s not about being wishy-washy.

It’s about progress. It’s about finding things that work and inspire. Not just for the kids, but for me.

When I get to the point that my lesson plans are boring me to death, then I know that my kids must have gotten bored way before that.

So instead of saying, “For the love, Melanie…pick something and stick with it”…I find myself saying, “Oh man, they are going to love this.”

I admit, it’s not an easy sell all the time. Kids like things to be comfortable. But I know, from my small group, that they secretly enjoy the change-ups and the new ideas.

Yesterday I started with just a few new things….a new writing journal and a modified version of the strategy called Say Something.

Before we dove in though, I told them, in genuine, nerdy excitement about the reading and research I did over break…to help them.

“Wait! You did what? You did research on Christmas vacation? OMG!” is what I hear.

What I imagine them saying in their heads: “Thank goodness! Something new!! You’re the best teacher EV-ER!” 

Throughout class, I heard things like:

“Did you get this from that book you read?”

“Is this from your ‘research’?”

“Is this one of your new tricks?”

I loved that they were being very attentive, trying to catch me doing something new.

Excitement breeds excitement.  If I’m not excited about what I’m teaching, how will my students ever be excited?

How often do you change things up in your classroom?

What are you excited about trying second semester?

Did you do any “research” over break?

Other posts I’ve written about CHANGE:

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4 responses

  1. What I enjoy most about teaching is finding new and interesting material to present. I teach six different courses, so this poses a problem for me–NEVER enough time, but it’s still the part of my job I like best. Students don’t always respond with enthusiasm (high school, pregnant/parenting girls), which is frustrating. It’s often hard to get my students excited about learning or trying something new, but I keep searching out new materials becauce I want to. That way, at least one of us is enjoying the lesson!

    1. You and I always seem to have similar thoughts. So glad you always read and share! Thank you!

  2. What a wonderful teacher you are! And I am beginning to wonder if we teach in the same place…yesterday was a half day, and today we are also home in the snow.
    I have been teaching since 1984, in one capacity or another, and I think that what has made it fun for me is that teaching is ALWAYS about trying new things! We’re like sharks (to steal from Wooody Allen). If we stop moving forward, we die. I think most of us research/read/peruse/learn on vacations and weekends and evenings. Especially now, in the age of the Internet!
    Good luck next week! Have fun! I bet they are thinking “Best Teacher Ever”!!

    1. I’m glad you share my philosophy! It makes me feel less crazy!

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