Semester one is over. In many ways I am glad. This has been one of the toughest semesters I have walked through. I am finding myself looking back and wondering where my 10 prior years of experience have gone and how I have ended up feeling like a novice again. I have a rough bunch of students this year, but have had them before. I am struggling to get many students engaged and focused this year, more so that in previous years, at least it feels that way.
Maybe part of my struggle is that I am wearing several different hats this year. Along with my full load of classes, 2 Algebra I and 3 Geometry, I am working with our assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction on implementing CCSS at the middle and high schools; writing course descriptions, working on a-g approval for new courses, creating a new Financial Algebra course with a team of teachers in PBL format, and searching for resources for teachers at the high schools for implementation of CCSS. In our geometry courses we have been working as a PLC to create units and redesign the course in the transformational focus that CCSS is directing. This was new for us, so it has been interesting, challenging, and fun to see the results.
I have begun to become active on twitter this year, which has lead me to blogging and becoming more active in reading the blogs of others. At first I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that came in, I follow 142 people right now and am amazed at the numbers that others follow. I can hardly keep up with what I’m doing now. I am becoming more comfortable sharing and joining in chats, although the speed of the conversations and language is sometimes still elusive. My daughters would say I’m old-fashioned and need to get with the times.
I am very happy with the things I am learning, am grateful for the extended opportunities to increase my PLN, and am in awe of the caliber of educators with which I am coming in contact. At my school site I have been unusual in my desire to collaborate on ideas and courses, loving the PLC initiative that was started, but frustrated that many of our teachers are “playing the game” but not really interested in participating. I have been disappointed that I am not getting any responses to my writing, but maybe that comes with time. I love reading and responding to other bloggers, and the interactions which occur on a professional level as we problem-solve our way through the questions that arise from our constant desire to improve. I do like being challenged, and am usually responsive to constructive criticism. I am a professional student, as well as an educator and know that as long as I am willing to look at what I am doing and question myself and the outcomes, I will continue to grow.
I have some changes to make for next semester, but think I will begin my break with some sleeping in and renewal.