Monday, September 24, 2012

Overwhelmed But Content

I'm running a day behind! This post should have been completed on Friday, but things are a bit overwhelming right now. I'm hoping that once this trimester ends and a new one is started, things will settle down just a tad. For now, however, I'm doing good to keep myself one day ahead of my students. This "writing new curriculum every year" thing is starting to get a bit tiresome. I'm ready to teach the curriculum I write for more than one year before I have to change it again. I guess there is a plus to all this changing though; I don't have to worry about it becoming mundane.

I have discovered one other great advantage to teaching a new curriculum --- each day I'm learning something new. As I research project ideas or begin a new task, I'm finding at least one new thing I didn't know before. That fact excites me, yet scares me at the same time. Technology is changing so fast and at times can be pretty complex, so it comes as no surprise that I encounter something new quite often. That new knowledge is what keeps my brain functioning. If letting the brain become stagnant is a contributor to alzheimer's disease, it looks like I won't have to worry about getting it for a while. My brain is anything BUT stagnant at this point in time.

Writing this blog and reflecting on each week is a constant reminder to me how important my job is for my students. I can't let myself fall into a rut or keep teaching the same thing over and over because their future (and in essence, mine) is far too important. These are the adults of tomorrow, therefore it is important to see that they are educated well. After all, they will be the ones making the decisions when I'm old and gray. I love my job, and I love my students (even though there are days when I question "why"). Because of this, I want to make sure that I give them 100% of my absolute very best. Yes, I'm overwhelmed at times, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moving Forward

Last week came and went before I was ready, and now I'm playing catch-up (not to be confused with ketchup - tee hee hee)! It was such a strange week because Monday was a holiday and Friday was an all-day-in-service day for teachers. That meant I only had students for three days! THREE days! Oh to be a kid again! I could easily get used to three-day-work weeks! So here it is, the end of another week, and I'm trying to reflect on two weeks instead of my usual one.

All in all the year is going quite smoothly so far. Almost too smoothly that it is somewhat scary.  Sure, we had some technology frustrations, but over all, things are going quite well. I think it helps that a good percentage of my students have had me before. Those kids know what I expect of them and that makes my job so much easier. It can't continue can it? Isn't that wishful thinking? I've taught long enough that I know a dream when I'm in one, so I keep waiting for the hammer to fall.

Each day is bringing about a whole new set of challenges. The change we made from having student accounts on the district server to having student accounts stored on individual flash drives is certainly solving most of the log in issues, but it is definitely creating a whole new set of problems. If I hear "I forgot my flash drive" one more time, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I have tried to equate not bringing a flash drive with not wearing pants, but even than analogy hasn't phased them. What part of "you HAVE to have it" do they not understand?

Along with having to face a few technology issues, writing curriculum on the fly is another great challenge. I'm the type of person who likes to know, well in advance, what is going on ahead of time. I don't like feeling unprepared. But at the of each day I find myself scrambling for something to do in class the next day. Just typing that sentence makes me shudder! That is so unlike me. But I'm managing. And so far I'm pretty pleased with what I've come up with. At least I haven't lost the ability to think creatively. I just take it one day at a time. I'll keep moving forward. And when I get to the end, I know I will have done the very best that I possibly could for my students and for myself.