Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A New School Year: New Beginnings & New Hopes

The first week of the 2010-2011 school year has come and gone. And wow, what a long, exhausting week it was! Immediately after teaching in South Korea and traveling out West with my husband (to NV, UT, and AZ), I jumped back into the swing of things with preservice week and then the first day of school on August 30th.

I always get so nervous before the first day of school. I get knots in my stomach, a racing heart beat, and the inability to sleep for more than 20 solid minutes at a time the night before school starts. I have felt this way before a new school year for as long as I can remember, dating back to kindergarten. Inevitably, I end up loving school once I am there, first as a student and now as a no-longer-new teacher. With this transition comes countless thoughts, worries, hopes, dreams, and mental images about what could possibly go wrong -- or hopefully be a success this year in the classroom. I am a real mess!

It didn't take me long to realize that this is truly going to be a great year of teaching, which will be my fourth in my building and sixth overall. This summer, I was reenergized and pleasantly surprised with the amount of productive, meaningful, and realistic work our leadership team put into creating effective change with both our school improvement plan and school culture. Our principal seems more committed than ever to change and being the leader the school needs, willing to do whatever it takes in the process. Our new assistant principal is a complete breath of fresh air who exemplifies inspiring and empowering leadership. She is the kind of administrator I want to be one day (should I decide to choose that path!).

This productivity and positivity transferred naturally over to the rest of our staff during preservice, who could sense that real change was in the air and that this year was going to be different in only the best of ways. There was an air of calm, peace, and hope occurring throughout the week that allowed the opening of school to be the smoothest -- and best feeling -- in years. How wonderful!

I am particularly excited to get to co-teach again with my fantastic teaching partner, Yvonne. We have some very needy students this year in our full inclusion classes, but thus far, they have really stepped up to the plate. They have been polite, respectful, and willing to work hard this first week. Let's hope it continues (and it WILL if I have anything to do with it!)!

For me, this is a real year of professional change and hopefully growth as well. Since my former co-team leader moved into the Media Specialist position at our school (after 14 years of teaching, 9 as a team leader), I am now working with a new person, who is luckily a seasoned nationally board certified teacher. Pam is now filling both roles Autumn left empty as my co-team leader of the eighth grade and science department chair. While we are starting at square with her new positions and our new relationship, I am enthusiastic and positive that I can train Pam effectively, teaching her all she needs to know about the team leader position. Already, I have had to remind her to allow herself the time and space to get accustomed to her new school, make the science department her first priority, and allow me to take the lead with the grade-level team for the time being. Since she also is a type A perfectionist and workaholic,  she had to hear these suggestions numerous times from multiple people before allowing herself to accept and really listen to the message (SOO much like me!). I am optimistic that our working relationship will thrive and that we will be able to build on each other's strengths to benefit our team of teachers and, of course, our students.

A new year and many new beginnings. Endless opportunities to grow and learn as a teacher, leader, and learner. Am I excited? Absolutely. Am I nervous? Of course. BRING IT!!

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