Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Not Who I Once Was

Welcome to Day 29 of TeachThought's Reflective Teacher 30-Day Blog Challenge!

Today's prompt:
How have you changed as an educator since you first started?

I'm not sure this question is fair for those of us who number our years of teaching in the decades.

How have I NOT changed?

I still feel sorry for the students I had my first year of teaching (1993-1994).  I was not much older than them, I was easily intimidated by them, I was unsure of myself and afraid of making mistakes.  I changed course frequently and suddenly as I tried to decide the best content to teach and how to teach it.

I have 2 distinct chapters to my teaching career: six years teaching geometry at the high school and ten years teaching eighth grade at the junior high (I took five years off with my kids in between).

I am a different teacher now than I was when I came back to teaching ten years ago.  Twenty-one years ago seems like a different lifetime.

So, saying I've changed is stating the obvious, but how have I changed?

I'm better at relating to my students.

I'm more comfortable in my own skin.  Mistakes?  We all make them, and I do a better job of modeling how to handle them.

I have a better grasp of the process of learning and do a better job of supporting students through the process.

I've quit expecting young teenagers to act like fully mature adults, providing a safe place to land and structure to encourage the development of responsibility.

I am using technology that didn't even exist 21 years ago.

I hope I remain open and willing to change.  In ten more years I hope I can say I am different from the teacher I am today. If not, I hope someone will tell me it's time to go to the house.

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