Saturday, August 31, 2013

Making the Most

I think my personal motto this school year is going to be "making the most of it." Don't get me wrong- I love my school and my kiddos! 

I'm finding myself making the most of every. Single. Minute. Of all my days. Good ole common core has arrived in our school, and I am spending tons of time working, even more than usual at the beginning of a school year. 

I'm making the most of this "get to know you" time with my students- trying to establish a sense of rapport with them. Im especially focused on the ones that I know were in trouble the most last year, because I want to prevent rather than react. 

There is tons of white cinderblock just waiting to be filled. I'm making the most of it. We don't have bulletin boards in my wing, so I made my own. 

Common core standards that relate to science. 

My partner teacher retired, and is just here substituting until her replacement is available to start teaching. I'm making the most of my last days with such a wonderful colleague and mentor. 

My plan is to make the most of this school year in every aspect, both personally and professionally. I'm definitely making the most of opportunities and exposing my students to as much of the outside world as I can.   What are y'all making the most of?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Patience is a Virtue

The saying "patience is a virtue" is something I've heard all my life because, well, I'm not the most patient person around. I typically respond with something along the lines of "yes, it is. Unfortunately, it's not one of my God given gifts."  

Patience is something that I have to practice and pray for every. Single. Day. 

We have completed our first week of the new school year and I have been constantly forced to remind myself to be patient, not to snap or yell, and to take deep breaths. My kids this year aren't annoying or rude or anything else that would generally try my nerves. In fact, they're sweet, mature for their age, respectful of me, and generally great kids in classes that are generally great classes. Why then, do I need patience?

I almost exclusively teach kids at both ends of the ability spectrum and in my district, they are grouped by performance level. My hard working kiddos who struggle more with school test my patience in the need for things to move slowly, to be broken down into smaller chunks than I ever have before, and for me to absolutely never yell or lose my patience because that causes immediate shut down for them. I don't want to ruin their academic goals because I get frustrated one day and the result is that some of those kids may not think they're capable. I believe that every single one of them is capable of graduating from high school-- and I've told them this. I can't afford to lose my patience with them. It wouldn't be fair. 

My kiddos on the other end of the spectrum are trying my patience in other ways. I know lots of highly intelligent people who struggle with common sense tasks (like my Dad). A handful of these students make Sheldon Cooper look like he has all the common sense in the world. 

As usual, my students are teaching me at least as much as I believe I'm teaching them. I love it. One week down, year 4! :)