After last year (the nightmare of all years both professionally and personally), I want this year to be different. My school year got off to a rough start. (I talked about that here). I was really unsure of how the rest of my year was going to go.
I dug deep, though, and found the courage to make some changes. Things are much, much better now. Just today, my students worked on their writing in complete silence. (Please don't think that I stifle my kiddos' creativity and need to collaborate by asking them to be quiet. My point is in their focus and dedication to their work - not in the noise level. It's just that it's easier to be focused and dedicated when distractions are limited. We have many times during our day when we can be loud.) The focus, in and of itself, is a huge accomplishment for my class! My principal stopped in during my planning time to ask how my kiddos were doing. I said, "If you had been in here when they were writing just now, you wouldn't have even known there were kids in here." His reply, "That's awesome!" Their writing is amazing too. I wish I had snapped some pictures to share. To quote one of my lovelies, "I read it and it blew my mind up!"
We still have our rough patches. Certain parts of the day are much more difficult than others, but I don't end up in tears every day. My goal is to keep this up. To do this, I need to stay confident in myself. My principal told me at the beginning of the year that I was hired for a reason. I was very transparent at my interview. They knew what they were getting, and they wanted that teacher. I need to be that teacher.
I am a guarded person. I've been forgotten and stomped a time too many, which makes it hard for me to put myself out there. (Whoa! I totally sound like a contestant on The Bachelor... Sorry about that) My resolution is to abandon my insecurities and be myself even if that means I make a mistake from time to time. At least then I can say I was doing what my heart was telling me to do.
So, how have I been doing with this? I feel I've been doing pretty well with it. I've got my kiddos in a great place with the Daily 5 process, even though the other teachers haven't started it yet. I've been adding my own projects and activities into my weekly plans, and I've started some character education with my group. I'm doing my best to be the best teacher I can be to my students. They are different than the other classes. We can't all be the same.