Conflict

Many good things can come out of conflict.  I am currently in conflict.  I have conflict with what I am currently doing professionally and where I see what I want to be doing.  There is such a divide between the two, I’m not sure how to cross it.

My current position is teaching an ELD classroom that is full of more restrictions than it is creativity and varied opportunities for learning.  There is sooo much pressure for students to perform on AIMS there isn’t room for anything besides teaching to the test.  I hate it.  I understand where it is coming from and why, but surely there has to be a middle ground somewhere.

Where I see myself professionally (today, that is) is teaching writing to middle schoolers.  I am inspired by storytelling and the creativity and voice that we all have, if we just learn how to share it.  Which really is a place I never thought I would want to be at. I have been greatly inspired by fellow ELD teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, who is a GREAT writing teacher.  She gets it.  She is so knowledgeable about children’s literature.  What’s more important is that she honors students’ voices.  I think that technology provides an avenue for students to share their voices in a way that is natural to them.  If only we let them, monitor and advise them.

So with that, I must get to where the rubber meets the road.  What am I going to do about it?  It took me three years to get this site up and running, and I have let it just sit here.  I want to teach writing, but really have not honored it for myself.  I don’t write everyday more than a Facebook update, and even that has been sporadic lately.  I haven’t read an adult book in over a year.  REALLY!!  Yikes!  I am embarrassed to share that.  But it is what it is.  And it is where I am at.  But it is not where I want to be.

Post update(11/10): I don’t hate teaching.  I actually enjoy my class this year.  (I haven’t said that in two years.)  They are a great group.  I do hate the testing pressure.  Just felt I should clarify.

Am I Really a Writer?

Today, the ELD Instructional Coaches attended in-services presented by our own.  The writing presentation today was AWESOME!!!! I was greatly impressed and learned more in two hours than any writing training I’ve had in 7 years total.  I have always struggled with teaching writing.  I have come to realize that maybe my lack of drive in teaching writing is connected to my lack of writing here.  I never really thought about how as a teacher of writing I need to have some connection to writing myself.  I have not made writing a priority.  If I really want to improve my teaching of writing I need to give some priority to my own writing, not just here, but also my own personal writing.   All writing is not worthy of publishing, but surely I have more to say than what I have so far…

Technology dependent???

Well, when I moved into my new classroom this year, I inherited a Smartboard  projector that had met its lamp life.  To use my Smartboard I had to turn off my classroom lights so the kids could see the board.  So of course I was all over it with our MIS department.  Fortunately our district has an exchange rebate program that will replace it.  Unfortunately this is going to take 1 -2 weeks(so they say).  So I am on day 5 of no projector. I am trying to stay positive about it.  I was only at work 3 days this week and next week has three half days…but oh how I miss my projector. No movie clips, no Smartboard, no document camera.  What am I going to do????

Getting Into the Swing of Things

This is week 3 of school, officially week 3 and 3 days.  But really, academic full press on, this is week 3.  I am just getting oriented to the new curriculum and pacing and such.  We have lots of help this year with pull-out interventionists.  It has been pretty hard to get scheduled and instruction focused while the majority of my class is out.  I am hesitant to teach new material for having to re-teach it in 30 minutes.  I am still trying to maximize that time with the students I have left.  One thing that I have found this year is that I am always questioning how I could have done a lesson better.  That is definitely something I have to credit to the National Boards process.  Hopefully one I can just continue on my own rather than in pursuit of something.  We’ll see…

I”m going to get better at this!

I just took about 40 minutes to truly visit my aggregator, something I haven’t done sine I went back to work 3 weeks ago.  I had over 60 posts to read.  Of course I didn’t read all of them and I left 6 to be read later when I would really read them and not just clean up my aggregator.  I enjoy developing my personal learning network and trying to learn about different perspectives on technology integration.  I hope to add more locals to my network and become a better contributer myself.

Beginning reflections

The school year has started with a bang for me.  I have a great class and am loving the grade level change.  The transition to  new leadership has been relatively smooth.  There is much to look forward to this year!

But it just hit me this morning.  Our district eliminated our electronic grade book because it changed attendance systems.  I realized today that I will have to do grades manually this year.  Really?!?  REALLY?!?!!!!  What year is this?

We are so lucky

I spent the last week working with several teachers and 1 principal learning and working on Best Practices in Math.  This could have gone pretty badly, but let me tell you it was GREAT.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The work I did this week has truly made me a better teacher.  I hope that the relaxation of summer does not dilute my intentions at this moment.  But the best part of this past week and the reason I felt compelled to write was my grand realization I had.  We have a lot of really good teachers in our district.  In the seven years I have been teaching and attending district provided professional development, this is the first time I have felt this way.  That is great for our district, but even better for our kids.  I wish we could collectively build a superteam of teachers for our school.  What a difference that would make.  A group of adults focused and dedicated to the same kind of learning.  Oh, the possibilities.