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:
People talk about it all the time.
“I hate change.”
“Change is never easy.”
“I hate change.”
“But, change is necessary.”
“I hate change.”
“Time’s have changed.”
I have had a lot of opportunity to think about change the past few weeks as our building is going through a complete and total change/overhaul next fall. (i.e., 8 periods will now be 9 periods, block scheduling for Language Arts and Math, and full inclusion. On top of that, we lost 1 1/3 of our special education staff.)
What is/was the hardest part of all this upcoming change?
Waiting for it to happen.
For me, waiting for change is ten times harder than the actual change. Waiting and not knowing details, not knowing when, how, if….this is scary stuff.
Those who know me well know I freak out at the idea of change. Again, it’s the anticipation, not the actual change.
What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work? What if I regret it?
For years I have said that I hate change. But I probably looked like a fool. I secretly, and now publicly admit, I love change. I embrace change. Did I really just say that? Here is some proof:
I have changed positions eight times during my career in education. I have worked for four districts. I have taught 12 different grade levels. I have worked with four levels of disabilities.
Only one of these building changes was involuntary (due to budget cuts) and it was probably the greatest move of my life. But there seems like there is always a right time to move on. In fact, I have a thank you card on my fridge that is 3 years old, written by a 16-year-old who was wise beyond his years. It reads: “It makes me very sad that you have to leave, but I understand that one must move on to bigger and better things.”
I am constantly experiencing change in all aspects of my life…..new homes (5 moves in 5 years), new cars, new friendships, new relationships, new phones (the change from flip phone to Blackberry to Droid to iPhone was probably one of the hardest series of changes in my life!)
So why put myself through change?
Some changes are sad, most are for the better, and many are for the best, but they are all necessary.
Things get boring. Goals are met. I need a challenge. My work here is done. It’s time to move on. There is nothing more I can do here. I need to spread my wings. There are bigger fish to fry. I’m growing.
What has been the hardest change in your life?
What has been the best change you’ve ever made?
Do they happen to be the same?