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No more theory, put it into practice.

15 Mar

I need a break. I can’t remember what I did this morning (which feels like three days ago), let alone what I blogged about five weeks ago. Thankfully, I have technology to do most of my remembering for me. I have been taking on more teaching responsibilities in the classroom this week, as well as pounding out and polishing up final papers for my teaching courses. I will be thrilled when the last paper is submitted and I can maybe sleep more than 5 hours or even go for a run.

This quarter has been a roller coaster. December was hard. It began with a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, on December 14. I sat down and cried, and found solace in a song. Later in December, I had a huge change in my life, and was lucky to discover people who truly care about me. I initially didn’t want to blog about it, but I found it was profoundly affecting my life – and I began to wonder about students who have trouble and changes at home, and how it affects their learning. So I shared. A little. I opened up my private life to the internet and made my thoughts public. It was hard, but I feel it is important to always remember that our students have a lot going on in their lives that they may not tell us about, but that can immensely impact their school life.

This quarter, I have been inspired by teachers who are not afraid to take a stance and to dive into the politics of education. The many teachers in Seattle who refused to administer the MAP test have been receiving national attention. I wrote a post about it, which prompted some interesting dialogue in the comments. Additionally, I have greatly enjoyed reading The Jose Vilson blog, and this post about white teachers teaching black history month was very striking. I commented that I often wondered about the “right way” to celebrate all of my students. He responded to me (and to the other commentors) with this post, giving some examples of what white teachers SHOULD (in his opinion) do to teach black history.

MAP testing is a hot topic, as one of my cohort-mates, For Whom The Bell Rings, wrote about a recent blog entry from our local weather guru, Cliff Mass. I commented with my own ideas, and the conversation that began in these blogs seeped out into the real world – our carpool, classrooms, and lunch times became sounding boards for ideas and arguments about this way of thinking. It’s just one example of how a blog post can create dialogue and push people’s thinking, on and off the internet.

So, there’s my blog reflection for Winter Quarter. In a week, full-time student teaching/co-teaching begins. We’ve learned the theory, crammed it into our heads, hoping something will stick. We’ve worked with fantastic educators and professionals, and even more fantastic (fantasticker? yeah.) students. Now we’ve got to put it into practice. Blogging isn’t required for the remainder of our program, but I think I would like to continue reflecting on my teaching on a blog, perhaps even collaborating with some of my cohort-mates.

Now, here I go on to the next assignment.

Coming Back

4 Nov

I took the weekend “off.” I saw a play. I had family in from out of town. I got to say “I’m with the band” at a concert. (And, I took my parents to a rock show.) I thought about blogging on my own personal blog (didn’t do it, but thought about it…). I went on a date with my man-friend, saw a great movie, and refused to think about school.

I needed it. But now I need to buckle down and get back to work. This week is going to be about hopping back on that horse, not letting anything slow me down, and riding off into the sunset. Or at least into all these assignments that are due in the next few weeks.

It is November now, which means two things: No more October Cry, and Thanksgiving!

I seriously love Thanksgiving. If we’re being honest, I love the food. But I also love taking the time to think about what I am thankful for. I know it’s the 4th but I’m going to start posting one thing I’m thankful for a day, for the whole month of November. Which means you get 4 things right now!

1) I am thankful for my cohort, these 25 people who support me on a regular basis

2) I am thankful for Facebook and Twitter – I am “friends with” or “follow” teachers that live around the world. Teachers that I have worked with, teachers who taught me, and teachers I may never meet. Each one of them provides a unique outlook on politics, teaching, and the world at large, and I think these people will help me be a better teacher myself.

3) I am thankful for my desk. I read an article on Apartment Therapy last week titled “Using Your Home to Reach Your Dreams.” It’s about creating a space for yourself to work towards your dreams. My dream is to be an incredible teacher. I made myself a desk space but too often find myself sitting on the couch, surrounded by distractions, attempting to do my work. Now I’m back at my desk, hoping that using this space will help me “reach my dreams.”

4) I’m thankful for the rain. I love listening to it. I love how green this beautiful city is. Yes, sometimes that green is moss because everything is damp and grey – but I love it. When I have my own classroom, full of wet children after recess, I may have a different opinion, so for now I’m going to enjoy it.

What are you thankful for?

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