It’s our next to last week. Next week our students have final exams, then summer! I have to say I am very ready for summer this year. This has been one of the most challenging years of my teaching career, and of my life. I have been walking through the grieving process of losing my mother, and walking through some very challenging things at school. I’m tired, frustrated, disappointed, and ready to have this year be over, and figure out how to do next year better.
This is the first year that I have been actively utilizing twitter. I’m so grateful for the PLN I have been building this year, I have met some wonderful educators, learned some incredible things, had a lot of my teaching practices and beliefs validated, and generally enjoyed discussing, questioning, being questioned, challenging and being challenged, learning new ways to view things and meeting new colleagues. I think some of this has been causing me fatigue, I have often spent an hour or two on twitter after work and perusing it during the day when I get a chance to keep up on conversations and trying not to miss those wonderful lesson ideas or discussions regarding topics that help me to create better lessons for my students. While learning and stretching myself, it has also caused me to spend less time in rest or non-work related activities. I think that finding a balance is very important and definitely more healthy.
My students have been challenging this year. They have really fought learning, desiring that I lecture, model problem-solving, and give them guided practice, in general, teaching in a way that I just don’t do well or at all. It has been a long struggle to get them to begin questioning, engaging and desiring to learn and dig deeper, and I am definitely tired from that. We are now reviewing for finals next week, and some students are beginning to desire to understand the material (as usual) when they realize that grades will be final next week. I am encouraging them to dig in still, I do pass students for the semester who pass the final, but also try to let them know that it is a lot of hard work to pass a final if the work has not been done consistently throughout the semester. I really do hope they are able to do it, I want to see each student pass, even the ones who have aggravated me through the year with their refusal to work or put in any effort.
Lastly, our district has decided to put “academic specialists” in place at each school site and a couple at the district level to help with implementation of common core and to support teachers. I have applied for several of these positions and we are going through the interviewing process now. I think we are all feeling the time crunch of this, not only do these specialists need to be chosen and put into place, but there will be many teaching positions that will become vacant because of these changes. These last two weeks of school are a crazy time for this, and we are all feeling the pressure, however, trying to work together to make this process as easy and smooth as possible. It will be exciting and interesting to see how everything comes together, and how we will create a strong district level PLC to support math teachers at all levels across our district. My hope is that this will be the start of strong learning and teaching throughout our district, and that common core will no longer be something to be feared and stressed about, but an enlightening journey that we create to improve instruction and learning outcomes for all our students.
One journey ends, another begins.