Education Adventure

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Education is an adventure.

That's probably why I am an educator. I've loved school as long a I can remember. I've always been curious and I love learning new things. Reflection is important to me - I'm constantly wondering how I could have done something better. I'm my own harshest critic.

This year I am stepping into a new role and it has caused me to reflect on how I have changed as an educator through the years. 

When I first started teaching, I was one of those teachers. I thought I couldn't smile until after Christmas or I might lose control of my class. If a paper didn't have a name on it, I threw it away. No name, no grade. My classroom management was strict and I must say a bit harsh. It's all I knew. 

When I had my own kids (about 3 years after my start of my career), I loosened up a bit. I realized that I needed to show my students how much I loved and respected them. This helped. A lot. I no longer tossed out papers without names - I didn't want someone doing that to my child. Having kids helped me see my job from a parent's point of view.

I constantly research new techniques and have tried many of them. I use to flip cards, write names on the board, or use a clip chart. As a college professor, I learned about many new techniques that were much more positive and student centered. 

A few years ago I took a job in a public school where I was able to use many of these newer classroom management techniques. Oh, how I wish I had used these years before! I built my classroom around relationship - classroom community, shared vision, social contracts, student choice, flexible seating, and positive teacher talk. Instead of me giving the rules, we created a social contract as a class together. I gave students their own seating options and found that instead of losing control of the room, there was more management and learning than before. Students rose to the occasion and were respectful, responsible, curious, eager to learn. I read books such as Teach Like a Pirate and even did something I thought I would never do - I gave the room to the students. They taught, managed, prepared, was our student lead day. It was amazing. It was fun seeing my job from a student's point of view. 

I know that life constantly changes. I strive to keep learning and growing. 

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