Saturday, July 5, 2014

A new adventure

 It is so hard for me to believe that I have been teaching for over 20 years.  I remember my first "official" day like it was yesterday.  I was just out of college and was hired just 4 days before school started.  I was young and excited, ready to try out everything I had learned in college---not realizing that one could never learn enough in college to deal with 30 4th graders.  Thirty minutes in on my very first day, I knew that my career was going to be quite an adventure.  And it has!

         Teaching was different in so many ways back then--chalkboards, no standards, one computer that used 5.25 floppy disks, overhead projector, ditto machines.  Chalkboards were replaced by whiteboards which have taken a second fiddle to an interactive one in my room.  Standards are out, common core is in.  A world without technology is unimaginable to my 6th graders---they stare at me in horror when I describe how I had a rotary dial telephone when I was their age.  Our rooms were upgraded to be 21st century classrooms 4 years ago--skylights, a sound system, interactive whiteboard, computers,  a document camera, matching furniture, etc.  (That document camera is my favorite--it truly has made teaching and learning easier.)
       However,  the one thing that has remained constant is the kids.  Some are eager to learn and others have to be dragged to new ideas, but they show up day after day and it is up to me to figure out how to teach them.  Some days--some years-- are harder than others, and some days you realize just how amazing teaching can be.  

      I love reading educational blogs--teachers have so much knowledge and wisdom to impart.  Back in that first year, I thought that my way was the best way---as the years have progressed I have realized how foolish that notion was.  There are just so many "best ways" out there---they are as varied as the learning styles of the kids that I have in my classroom.  And the internet has really allowed teachers to connect in ways that I never would have dreamed to be possible.  Joining the blogging world will hopefully help me continue to be a better teacher---something I am always striving to become.  One of my favorite things, which happens, inevitably, every year, is when a child raises his or her hand and announces,"I have two questions."  I don't know why I find it to be so amusing.  Maybe because it is always proclaimed clearly, as if I won't allow a second question without proper notification.  But that statement never fails to bring a smile to my face.  And as I begin this new blogging adventure, I wanted it to start with a smile.