6.06.2013

Reflections on Year Two.


 Everyone always says that the second year of teaching is always easier-- to some extent I agree and to some extent I totally DISAGREE. 

 I realized early on this year that if my students were going to be successful I needed to be the kind of teacher I wanted to be vs. the teacher I thought I was suposed to be. I knew that I wanted my classroom to be organized chaos, I wanted my students to make their own choices and accept the consequences that came with those choices. I wanted my students to love coming to my class. 



My classroom is LOUD and I am perfectly ok with it. This year I realized that as a teacher I thrive on the organized chaos my lessons tend to create. I want my students up and moving and talking and creating because that is where the magic happens. My first year I was afraid that I couldn't handle the chaos. This year I threw caution to the wind and welcomed the chaos with open arms--and it worked. Yes, I spent 30 trillion hours picking up their trash off the floor, and straightening desk, and repeating "have you lost your ever loving mind" but they learned and they had a little fun while they were at it. 

Consequences-- they are a part of life just like death and taxes and everyone having a love/hate relationship with Taylor Swift music. I learned that if I didn't give my students boundaries and consequences no matter how much I knew they didn't mean to hit so-and so with the marker they threw across the room or they forgot their essay in their other binder which is (insert made up place here) they had to suffer the consequences. My goal has always been to use my class as a class where student don't just come to polish their reading and writing skills, but they come to polish their being decent people skills as well. 

Nope, were teachers NOT students... or sisters

 My second year of teaching I decided on 2 goals 
1. teach the PERSON 
2. teach the STUDENT. 
8th grade is such a rough year. It is where the "high school threats" start, "real" relationships start "real" heartbreak happens, friends are made and lost and made again. It is really a defining year. I think that is why I love it so much there is something so sweet about getting them right before they enter the all consuming world of high school that makes them listen just a tiny bit more than any other time in life. Ultimately I needed my students to love coming to my class not because they loved English (although that would be a plus) but I needed them to love coming to my class so that they were open to my encouragement, pressure, love and acceptance whether it was their best or their i'l get 'em next time.  

My first year I learned about the navigating being a teacher and surviving. My second year was all about the students and their needs. Their needs to have a teacher that is willing to try something that is not accepted, to make them learn from their mistakes and love them beyond words even when hitting them over the head with a textbook seems like a better option. 

Now onto year three. 


You can find my reflections on Year One HERE 
 photo signature_zps672b3250.jpg

15 comments:

Kati - Incorporating Color said...

Yes, yes, yes to this. I love everything about this. My room is definitely a lot of organized chaos - and it is fabulous. :) Happy summer!

Katie said...

what a sweet note from a student! I tried to be better at letting my classroom be louder and students talking and moving and me not controlling everything! congrats on your second year done!

Ari @ The Pace of it All said...

You sound like an awesome teacher and I love how you let you kids get chaotic for the sake of learning - that's something that I had to embrace this year also and it was hard for control freak me but I think it worked! :)

Victoria said...

What awesome opportunities you have with your students! You will learn so much and your hard work will definitely not be forgotten. I'm glad you found something you LOVE. :) Can't wait to hear about year 3! Happy Summer!!!!

Darby Hawley said...

I've got to say, Felicia was right: you were born to be a teacher and you're great at it! I'm so glad students have you as such a consistent positive role model. Bravo to your second year; a job very well done!

Kerrie Williams said...

that's amazing :) I love your teaching philosophy. You're the kind of teacher that students will remember. I have a few of my own and am so thankful for their influence in my life. Have a GREAT summer off :)

Kristen said...

Oh my goodness. I love your passion for teaching! & your teaching philosophy! I can't wait to have a classroom of my own (which won't be for about a year & a half but still haha) I've always wanted to teach little bitty ones, like first grade, but I like the idea of teaching 8th grade.. you're right, it's SUCH a defining year!

Whitney H said...

HOW SWEET! I didn't know if I'd ever told you that Nick taught 8th grade too. He loved it for all the same reasons you did. You're such a cool teacher!

Channing Lobpries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Channing Lobpries said...

There needs to be more teachers like you! Congrats on another year!

livinglobpries.blogspot.com

Sally said...

Being Decent People Skills should rank at the top of any list. They can always Google the stuff they forgot, but those skills need to be taught/learned over time. Wish I had a kid in your class! No, wait... my nest will be empty in three years... never mind!

Johanna said...

LOVE everything about this! My classroom is by far the loudest in the school and I'm across from the principal (AH!)...it's my first year and the noise has definitely gotten me some flack...but having students moving, creating, and discussing is so meaningful and awesome.
Sometimes I feel like the only teacher who is ok with a little noise! Happy Summer!

Sundresses and Smiles said...

Just found your cute blog! I'm just finishing up my first year as a kindergarten teacher!

The Cavallaro's said...

I love everything about this post and couldn't agree with you more! Your babies are so lucky to have you as their teacher!!!!

Sam @ reddyorknot.blogspot.com said...

Love this! I finished my second year of teaching this year to and agree it had different challenges. I must ask though....are you allowed to wear sleeveless shirts to school?! I would be SO jealous!!!