As I may have mentioned at some point this is my 20th year in the classroom. I’m starting to wonder if it will be my last. I’ve hit slumps in the past, times when I knew what I believed in doing but wasn’t actually doing it. I changed grade levels or began teaching our gifted class to mix things up and get me rolling again. Not only did I get rolling again but I grew a lot as I looped with a class (twice), taught our gifted class, and moved from the upper grades down to first grade and then kindergarten. It’s been amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And (mostly) I believe my students have benefited from being in my class.
This year I adore my class. I knew half of them from kindergarten, either because I taught them or because I worked with them in some other way. The work we’ve done as a school around academic talk is showing amazing benefits. I’m working with a special education teacher this year (who is awesome) who takes five of my kiddos for a good portion of the day. I’ve always worked with a push-in model so this is new for me. Teaching only fourteen kids for much of the day is fantastic and adjusting to when I have all nineteen and have to address needs very differently is an interesting challenge. I have no complaints. I mean look at them. They’re awesome.
For all the things that I am doing well as a teacher there are so many that I’m doing badly. I’m not suggesting I’m a bad teacher. Simply that there are too many things, and things that matter a lot to me, that I think are not good at all.
I can’t figure out what’s got me in this rut when it comes to some aspects of teaching this year. That’s part of the problem. If I could figure out why it’s happening, I’d be far more likely to be able to figure out how to fix it. Instead, I go in every day with the best of intentions and, somewhere during the day, slip right back into behaviors that I hate.
I’m not looking for reassurance that I’m a good teacher. Whether I believe that or not, there’s plenty of reassurance for me. What I need is to figure out why I’m stuck like this or how on earth to turn things around. I believe students deserve better than what mine are getting from me right now.