One Week In

I have finished my first week as a high school teacher! Somethings went better than expected, other things did not! But, I guess THAT is to be expected, isn’t it? That’s kind of the beauty of teaching – it’s constantly changing, and things rarely go exactly how you imagine.

Overall, I think it has gone OK. I’m loving being able to teach students one-on-one, especially since they have such diverse needs. Being the geek I am, I’m actually having a bit of fun relearning the Math content! No best way to learn something than to have to teacher it, right?

There is something that’s not going great for me on a personal level though. Because I’m spending a lot of my time re-learning and getting comfortable with the curriculum, I’m not able to spend the time incorporating more inquiry, critical thinking, or constructivist approaches.

I suppose this is a common problem amoung early-career teachers. A lot of time is spent getting your bearings.

But, as someone who prides oneself on having a teaching philosophy based on the above strategies, it has been hard to try to “do it all”. In my last post, I clearly saw this coming and had some ideas of how to incorporate things gently. That being said, it still kind of hurts the pride. I WANT to be doing 3-act Math activities, and incorporating environmental science into problems, and getting the students up and moving, and, and, and….

There are a couple of related issues that complicate things. First is having one-on-one classes means things like pair/small group/large group activities are out. Second is not keeping up with new teaching strategies. I don’t have PD to rely on for this. I do have Twitter, but it’s frustrating to see all these new buzzwords (SPIRALLING???) and not know what it is.

I’ve never been one with the patience, and this situation is a clear example of that. I know in my head that I can’t do everything all at once, and be the most awesome teacher ever RIGHT NOW. It is an evolutionary process.

Maybe I’ll finally learn patience!

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One Response to One Week In

  1. Andrea says:

    Congrats on surviving your first week! And really, the first year or the first time through any course is mostly about survival. I totally get the impulse to do everything you’ve ever dreamed of in the classroom right out of the gate but it definitely takes time. This my 4th year and I’m still not there! I don’t think I did my first jigsaw activity until 2 or 3 years in. What I’ve started doing is choosing one major goal to work on each semester across all of my classes and then one new, smaller, new thing to incorporate into just one class.

    The beauty of this job is that every few months, you get a chance to start all over again and do it better. It will all come together, bit by bit. And students really don’t need or expect all of the bells and whistles. As long as you know your stuff and can explain it well, and build good relationships with your students, you WILL be the most awesome teacher to them!

    Like

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