Investigating New Territory Through The World of Writing
Today is the first day I am headed back into school. There are so many wonderful things I learned this summer I want to incorporate into my teaching. Usually, I spend most of my time and anxiety obsessing about the environment. While I continue to believe the learning environment is one of the most important aspects of creating a positive classroom culture, recording my reflections about how I am going to integrate new ideas into my instruction is going to be my first priority.
I have the luxury of 16 years teaching experience. This year I am determined to use it as an asset instead of living in a constant state of disequilibrium. I know the amount of time I spend unsatisfied is not healthy. Learning to celebrate my classroom community needs to be the engine that propels me forward. So much of my energy is spent validating my student’s progress. My head knows that leading with the positive when I work with my students creates a healthy emotional climate, so why am I not spending energy on this with myself? Duh! What a hilarious “a-ha” moment this is.
Instead of feeling burdened by all the ideas I want to bring to fruition, why not celebrate the fact that these ideas exist at all? For example, I would love to catalog all my books in my classroom library. Working at a library all summer made me hungry for organization so I can have the titles of books at my fingertips. I have invested in a Cuecat (cheap ISBN scanner) to begin entering titles into a data base. But, this is clearly an overwhelming task I will not be able to even accomplish in a month. Just setting the goal of getting started should be enough. Instead of having my whole library cataloged, I think I will begin by pulling titles I plan to use for instruction. These mentor texts can be used with other teachers. They will also help me get ready for my first lessons.
Building on my successes is going to be my mantra. Watch me!