summer reflections

Two years done. I'm not satisfied. My first year was defined by several well-planned but disconnected lessons. It went ok. By years end I still had students who didn't like school and I had a couple of students who didn't grow much. My second year I changed cities, changed schools, changed demographics, and wanted to change my instruction. After the shock of moving from a well equipped school - my classroom had an interactive whiteboard, an elmo, a laptop, student laptops, a projector, three student computers, and new textbooks - to the inner city. My new classroom had three new student computers, a teacher computer, and little else. My new district did a good job of providing the essentials such as math manipulatives and books for reading. There just isn't money for the luxury of my first district.

I'm not satisfied. Not with my students' achievement. Not with my instruction and reflection. I feel overwhelmed and underqualified. I also feel excited with the challenge in front of me. I hope I never lose that excitement.

During this year I will try to be transparent with my blog entries. Just in case someday someone reads it. I don't want to be transparent for my audience, but for my sake. Improvement will not happen if I am minimizing my flaws. My problem with most professional development is that it either takes place on a cloud or it is so boring and repetitive that every set of eyes in the room is glazed and every mind is elsewhere. The productive meetings I've been in take place in small groups of like-minded educators who willingly challenge each other. It's constructive.

I will try to be transparent because I will otherwise speak in cliches. I will annoy myself. I will be transparent because I want to do my best, I don't need to impress. Because I want to get better at teaching, not better at making you think I'm teaching. Because I want to get better at being a teacher, not better at being someone I'm not.

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