Monday, September 29, 2014

Twenty Years of Changes

(Part of @teachthought 30-day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge) more info here.

Day 29 ~ "How have you changed as an educator?"

*This is a really wide-open reflective question!

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living."

This is my 20th year of teaching. I guess I would consider it a milestone. I couldn't have imagined how education has changed in 20 years, nor could I have envisioned how I would change in many ways as well.

I heard someone ask once, "Will you teach the same year __ times, or will you teach __ different years?" This question can really make you think and consider how you are changing, or if you're just doing the same motions over and over again without regard for your unique group of students. 

Early on in my teaching career I honestly thought I would get to the point where I had everything figured out and planned out, and therefore would end up with little to plan or do.

Imagine that!

Responding to changing student needs often means that flexibility is more important than long-term preparation and planning. A bigger vision and plan for the future is a great idea, but having every detail decided ahead of time, is not.

So each year is met with new ideas, new challenges, and new strategies to meet success in the classroom. It keeps things fresh, responsive, and - YES - sometimes stressful. Wanting to provide the best classroom climate, instruction, and assessment is a "dance" of sorts. 

The way I've changed as an educator over the last 20 years, is just being able to realize this and to embrace it. I've "let go" of many of the things I was trying too hard to do and instead started trying things, taking new risks, and trying to embrace he changes that keep knocking on my door.

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