Thursday, June 30, 2011

Final Teaching Thoughts 2010-2011

At the end of every teaching year, every teacher has some sort of self-evaluation. It's part of being a teacher. It's impossible not to worry that you could have done something better or to be excited about the successes you witnessed. Self-reflection encourages growth... and helps me stay sane! So here are some thoughts from my teaching experience this year:

1. I greatly prefer rotation to self-contained teaching. If I went back into the teaching arena, I would prefer to start with 6th grade if necessary so that I could be back on a rotation schedule. However, I stretched academically this year by teaching all subjects and I feel like I did a good job at it.

2. I still have a lot to learn. For some reason, this never changes. I think maybe it shouldn't.

3. Kids teach just as much as the teacher. Sometimes things that are more important.

4. Though I'm not naturally a social person, every relationship I have put effort into has always paid back exponentially.

5. I shouldn't be scared of parents.

6. The year will end. Show your students that you love them while you can.

7. We taught so much academic stuff! Sometimes I wonder how much social training we gave? So much teaching is intertwined with little "non-teaching" moments: on the playground, in out-of-class discussions, at the lockers in the hallways. How well did we teach there?

8. I will forever remember that ALT + 64 is another way to get the @ sign. (Spanish keyboard.)

9. Teaching Second-Language-Learners can be highly entertaining: One very naive girl wrote in a story that she was playing "high and sick" with her friends. Pronounced the Spanish way, it's easy to see that she meant "hide and seek." English is so much more complicated than Spanish. ;)

10. The people you work with can make or break a teaching position. I was blessed to work with an amazing, supportive community of educators. We all need a good community to do our best.

I am so proud of my students this year. They conquered things they didn't even think were possible! Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions really gave some of them trouble, but in the end they DID IT! Every single one of them advanced in reading comprehension, some above the 6th grade level! It's so exciting when a student gets something and then runs with it, learning even more with their interest.

If you can love the act of learning, you will never get "old."

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