Hello teacher blogosphere! Oh my goodness, how have I not posted anything since September here?
At first I was amazed at how long it's been (I even forgot how cute my blog design is--it makes me so happy!), but then I looked at the date of my last post, and things started to make sense. The day after I posted the lovely pictures of writing from our library field trip, my dad called to share some news about my mom who had been sick for a very long time. After 10 years of battling Alzheimer's and a recent diagnosis of cancer in late May of 2011, my mom, on September 29th, had trouble breathing and was refusing fluids. On October 3, 2011 my mom passed away. What a start to the school year! I took two weeks off to go home to be with my family, and then I came back and jumped back into teaching...but other parts of my life got a bit neglected, examples: this blog, oh and P90X? Yeah, that didn't happen either--at least I got 4 days in before I had to fly home in October!
One thing that I just have to express here that I've already shared with so many people is that I don't think I could imagine being at a better school when everything with my mom happened. I was just a month into the school year at a new school with many colleagues I'd only known since July. Everyone went above and beyond their job descriptions, covering recess time and helping each other out since an amazing apprentice teacher who usually helped then stepped up to teach my class. For two weeks, I got to spend time with my family, and I wasn't worried about whether or not my students were learning or how they were doing. I knew they were in good hands, and I have never felt that way before, so at ease with not being at school, and I am so grateful for that!
Life at school has been pretty amazing this year. It's been such a change from where I taught the past 2 years, in many ways, and I'm reminded of why it can be so hard to ignite change in other schools: there are MANY things that make a school functional or dysfunctional or somewhere-in-between.
If several things need to be changed anywhere, it's going to be a long process. Dramatic, lasting change doesn't happen overnight, and that's frustrating! Change needs to happen now for our students and their futures.
I've had time over the holiday break to think and reflect about many things...and I know I made the right choice to switch schools this year. I'm learning every day, and I'm starting to think about where I might be in my career a couple years down the road. I'm also very grateful I had the past two years at my old school, because I think the fact the schools are so different has really helped me start to think about what makes a class, a teacher, a principal, a school successful. I don't know yet, but I'm starting to have more ideas.
Like I said, I'm learning a lot, and while I definitely learned at my old school, I also had never taught anywhere else so I felt like I had very little perspective. Don't get me wrong, I've only been teaching for 2.5 years--I don't have lots of perspective yet, and I won't profess to know everything or to have all the answers when it comes to education, but I have more ideas than I did a year ago! As much as I think teachers learn from changing grade levels (yes, I'm still in kinder, but somewhere down the road I want to change!), I now also believe that changing schools can help teachers learn too!
So there you have it, my giant reflection and explanation of where I've been. I actually really missed this blog, and I didn't realize it until I started typing. This blog, and the teaching blog community!, helps me stay true to who I want to be as a teacher, and I hope this year I can post more. I'm hoping to post reflections on my teaching and all I'm learning as well as posts with what we're up to in the classroom.
Happy New Year teacher friends,