Monthly Archives: September 2012

A House of Rock Stars

I don’t know about you, but havingprep first thing in the morning just works for me. As organized as I am trying to be, I have always found myself frantically getting everything together as students come rushing into my classroom. Having prep as the first part of my day allows me to catch my breath, enjoy my coffee, and mentally prepare.

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Prep also gives me a chance to walk the hallways and hear/see/learn the amazing craft of my colleagues.

I wanted to post this a long time ago, but what really hit me this morning as I walked the hallways of my high school is how lucky I am to be in a building that houses educational and professional rock stars! I work among some of the best of the best in education, in ALL departments, who constantly challenge themselves to become better teachers every year. Every teacher has their own style of teaching, and it’s awesome to be able to turn to each of these teachers for guidance and suggestions on a daily basis. We truly have a culture of talented rock stars in this building, and I couldn’t feel more lucky to work with them!

I salute them and am in awe of them on a daily basis. It’s an honor to work and learn from them all.

 

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It Can’t Start Until It Begins

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I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day about the creation of classes, and it seemed that both of us agreed that during the summer, a new course can be filled with life, endless possibilites, and, for the most part, connected students. Visions of being thrown into the air like a young Robin Williams cloud my brain, as I continue to scour tweets, blogs, websites, and other professional brians to build the PERFECT class! I think I’ve got it! All of a sudden the theoretical ideas I once had are simply replaced by reality, and I remember that I’m much heavier than a young Robin Williams and I don’t have enough students to carry me, nor do I believe that I have what it takes to connect enough dots to make everything fit together this first time around. Oh, how I miss summer theory!

But then….the bell rings. Class begins. GULP! Here goes…

For the first time in my five years of teaching, the fear has gone away, and I stare at a classroom of 30+ faces who are eager to learn and create but would never admit this. The question that I hope to continue to ask myself all year will be: Does this class still fit my summer theory, and if it doesn’t, what do I need to do to bring it back?

I never want to forget the looks on the faces of my students as I met them for the first time last week. My hope is that the eagerness doesn’t die, as we start to paint this blank canvas that we call a classroom. There have been years that I feared that my class wasn’t going very well, as the canvas began to become covered with ugly paint colors with a broken brush. Rather than seeking out new colors and new ways to cover the damaged (but fixable) canvas, I would continue using the same brush and the same colors, waiting for a new canvas for the next year. That cannot happen this year. I need to remember that if I don’t like how the painitng is looking, there is always a new approach, a new brush stroke to add, and a new way of hanging the art piece. This year, I look forward to handing the paint set to my students and seeing what they can make out of their canvas. I want to listen to their feedback and reflect on daily lessons. I have an idea and vision in my head as to what these new classes should look like, but how could I ever know? The classes hadn’t even started yet. 

The vision has been set, and the ideas have been created. My job this year will be to give my students a map to see if they lead to those same ideas. Hopefully, many will take those ideas further and create new roads. I’m ready to take on the challenge!

Happy 2012-2013! 

Testing to make sure this works!

I’m really excited about getting this year started!