Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaching! Why reinvent the wheel?

It's been forever since I've written on the blog. I've had some requests and now it seems logical to go ahead and write again, especially now that I can attach this to my Facebook. I am hoping that I can vent my frustrations of teaching, and share my victories here and it will make me feel better. I also hope that someone, somewhere, might gain something from the experiences I'm having. If there's one thing I've learned, it's to not reinvent the wheel. Teachers say it all the time and so do our administrators. If someone else has already figured it out, why would you go to all the work to do it yourself? Well, I feel like I'm constantly reinventing. I guess I wish student teaching had lasted longer than 16 weeks.

I've been teaching for three years and have had so many tough situations, exciting times, and amazing moments in the classroom. Some have been complex and I've shared with people, but some have been small moments that I have enjoyed and kept to myself. Today was a day that had both.

My current class is extremely challenging. I feel my "grouchy brows" creep together almost immediately when I enter the classroom. I have to say that standardized testing perpetuates this condition of the face. Unfortunately, I have no control over how this happens or if it happens. I just have to participate like these unfortunate little ones I have in my classroom.

So this morning, I was so frustrated. I felt as if everything I said went in one sweet little ear and right out the other of each and every student in the room. Nothing I seemed to do made the words I was saying stick. Following directions is the hardest thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD with this group. By lunch, I had a headache taking over and I was wishing there was a botox injection available in the vending machine or a white padded room where I could get it all out.

After lunch, something changed. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm pretty sure it was just the fact that I know there was a whole half a day left, and also that there are three months of school left and somehow, I had to survive. After getting through reading and math, we moved onto writing and I was given the cutest song about Parts of a Friendly Letter. We sang and came up with hand motions. It was awesome. The students were engaged and I felt fulfilled as if I accomplishing

Right now I'm reading a book my sister Jacque gave me a million years ago. It's called "The Gentle Touch" by Ardeth G. Kapp. I'm hoping I can learn something to help me to reach those kids that, right now, feel completely untouchable. I know I have the ability to cause change because I have done it... but I have to figure out how to cause change without causing a stress and anxiety indused ventricle explosion. If I can't figure this out, I'll never make it 30 years.

Well, I'm off to finalize the thesis and then to bed, obviously... way too late.



Blogger kelley said...

Jess you constantly amaze me with your creativity and energy. I think that even if you can't see immediate differences in the blank stares from the kiddies, you are impacting them! You are so animated and fun I don't know how any kid can not pay attention to whatever you're teaching them!! Go luck with the thesis!

5:48 AM  

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