We have opening day for teachers and open house tomorrow night. I am always nervous to meet new students and parents. Scared. Because I want to be great for them, I want to value their time. I want them to learn and think and be challenged. Somewhere in the mix, I want them to at least not *hate* math.
The past couple of years have been, well, not my best. I chose to disconnect – because things were happening out of my control and I quickly became bitter. So as not to spread that ugly, contagious monster at school, I added space between myself and most everyone in proximity at school. I trusted no one. I gave up. I walked into my classroom and I left. It was miserable. This is not the work life I wanted, but it felt safe to isolate. It seems selfish looking back now. But I needed time to heal, forgive. Sadly, my students did not get the best me and that breaks my heart. I apologize.
Last year in an effort to dig my way back, my friend and I read a book Choosing Joy (kindle is only $0.99 right now). Its a 52-week devotional with a 4-page format. Easy, but challenging. I was reminded that no matter what, I get to choose. I plan to pull the book out again this year for frequent reminders.
I almost didn’t attend TMC17. Even being a veteran, the voices in my head – nearly convinced me I shouldn’t go. I had submitted my proposal way back when – I wasn’t sure if anything I had to share would benefit anyone. I have such respect for this community, I didn’t want to waste their time. My friend, the book fairy said, “But you love math camp. It re-energizes you.” She was right. Its what I needed. A BIG, jumbo shot of mathy-filled joy to jumpstart this school year.
I had 2 things on my list I wanted to learn more about and experience #talkingpoints and #clotheslinemath. I’ve dabbled in both, but never saw them completely through for what they can be. So, my #1TMCthing will be these 2 actually. I teach Algebra I – basically 3 levels CP using Springboard Curriculum, Algebra I – using our own resources, and Collaborative with Co-Teaching Model. I am excited to see how each of these routines / tools will play out with all of my students. My goal to implement each one time in each unit.
This may seem odd, I see both of these supporting my goal of intentional vocabulary / literacy strategies. Several years ago, I worked hard at implementing ideas with this focus – I need to refine and focus on these as well.
I need to be very intentional about my self-care. In order to be my best for my family and my students, I need to make better choices for my health and down time. Ideas:
- take a 5-10 min brain break to recharge somewhere in the middle of the school
- read for pleasure throughout the school year.
- journaling my food.
- #FitBOS to work towards my activity goals. S/O here to @sarah3martin for always including me in fitbit weekly challenges. Thank you.
So I will protect my self-care time by including it on my calendar, sadly this gives me permission to do it without guilt.
I have worked very hard for several years learning about formative assessment, questioning and closure activities for reflection. I intend to continue working to improve these and keep using some that I have found to be very beneficial to my students. But improving and being more intentional with my follow-up tasks to the formative assessments.
I would also like to continue implementing some of the big ideas from our chat on #Makeitstick a couple of summers ago, that Anna does an amazing job of sharing in her posts and presentations. Spaced practice, interleaving, being intentional and explicit about retrieval practice.
And I will continue life-lessons in my classroom – that’s what kids will take-a-way in the end. (If you have questions about this poster, just ask.)
When I was younger, I remember wanting to “Be a Barnabas” – yeah. That too.