Newbie Reflection

It being the beginning of a new year, it’s a good time to do some reflecting on my first months of teaching in a public high school. Here are some things that have been running through my head lately:

  • I let the complaints (and wanting to make everybody happy) guide me too much
  • In the beginning, I focused too much on staying on the schedule rather than ensuring a deeper understanding
  • I think I tried to implement too many methods/strategies for starting out (this is the problem with having such an awesome PLN: there are so many amazing teachers doing amazing things. But, they’re also tweeting what things NOT to do. So, it’s inspiring and overwhelming at the the same time.)
  • I had trouble staying consistent (teaching methods, classroom management, even marking) – perhaps the idea of keeping it simple might help?
  • Direct communication is key (found this out the hard way: trying to gloss over things or avoid situations to “be nice” does not work)
  • There will always be difficult situations/people to deal with
  • Teaching can fill up every second I allow it to

Many of those sound negative, but I certainly have a lot to learn from it all. On the more positive side:

  • I had several compliments about my teaching from other teachers and admin.
  • Students like and appreciate choice
  • I found that creating personal connections make a huge positive difference

In fact, some of my favourite moments involved making surprising connections with students: like having  a student who told me many times they didn’t want me around come to my door when they were bored and having a 30 minute conversation about their art.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: this job has a steep learning curve, but I’m not giving up just yet!

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