Wednesday, May 17, 2017

End of My Third Year

There's this feeling in teaching that once you make it to your third year, you're really a teacher.  You've had your first two bumpy years to work things out, and now you have figured out your methods and voice as an educator.  That is, if you stay at the same school.

Between my second and third years, I switched schools.  Districts, in fact.  I went from teaching in the Bayview to the heart of Silicon Valley down the street from where I grew up.  While I am now teaching in my community, both where I currently live and where I am from, there are some challenges that come from changing schools, just like changing any job.  From discussing this with friends, it takes about 5 weeks to get the hang of a new company and feel secure.  In teaching, because things change so often throughout the year, you don't feel comfortable until the year is over.  And even then, you still feel like you have a lot to learn.  Plus, the next year, you get new kids.

With all of this, I think I still improved as a teacher.  I had better classroom management and organizing things as well as posting grades more consistently.  However, I feel like there are a lot of new tricks I want to steal from coworkers in terms of homework return and test and quiz retention.  It's all about figuring out what is expected at the school, and how much students actually want their work back and what is realistic for me to do.

I've already gone through and figured out some new organization methods for work return and classroom set up.  Something that hasn't changed is how messy students can be, so whatever I can do to minimize that (and keep myself organized), I will most certainly do.  I think my strength as a teacher is being reflective.  I look at how thing went (even as they are going) and think about how I can improve it.  I will never think I am perfect.  I don't think I will ever stop growing or learning as a teacher.

In the future, I hope to post more activities and ideas onto this blog, and less reflection of my practice as I move forward.  I am planning on reorganizing my classroom and recording that here to hopefully help other teachers like me, especially science teachers, to keep themselves sane.  Writing definitely helps, I can tell you that.
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