9 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED THIS YEAR or PART IV

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

In my ongoing reflection on my return to teaching I have learned a great deal about myself. What have I learned about myself?
1. That I am a teacher.

I tried going back to the “normal” 9-5 world and be a paper pusher again. I found that I could do the work, but it just wasn’t where my heart was. When I returned to teaching in October, I knew that I was where I belonged, it just felt right. Yes, I struggled a bit when I first returned and worked a lot during “my” time on school work or attempting to be a better teacher…but the extra time didn’t bother me. I just enjoy being in the classroom and being a difference maker in student’s lives.
2. That I can still learn and in fact love learning – its just that formal classroom learning doesn’t really do it for me still. I do much better with informal learning methods like my PLN on Twitter (EdChat), Podcasts, watching videos, reading blogs and articles, reading books on stuff that interests me or other things will help me be a better person and teacher. Kind of strange saying that from a guy that pretty much hated school growing up. I think that we have to remember that learning is more than just being in school and that real learning happens every day, especially if we are interested in it. Gee maybe we need to think that way in the classroom more.
3. Unfortunately or fortunately whichever way you want to look at it, I didn’t fall behind when it comes to using technology in the classroom during my absence. I guess it goes back to the what interests me and technology does interest me (always has) and that causes me to want to use it more in the classroom. I believe that technology in the classroom is not integrated as part of the curriculum in most classrooms, sure most everyone uses a computer OR lets the students use a device of some sort, but technology is an add-on, instead of being an integral part of the lesson.

4. Being a teacher is detrimental to my efforts to maintain a much lighter weight! It seems that with all the meetings, mental effort that I expend during the day attempting to teach those that really don’t want to either be in school or don’t want to do work and attempting to work within the systems in place at school, all give me an excuse so that I don’t stop at the gym regularly and eat solace food instead of the healthy things I should. I guess that is part of the reason for us getting a Jack Russell was that he would help me get off my ass, even when I didn’t want to. It is working, I walk almost every night and most mornings now. Now just have to clear up the tendonitis in my knee and ankle, so that I can start running again.

5. I have learned that while I am pretty good at the Special Education paperwork that I hate doing it. I have whined and complained about doing the paperwork enough in this blog. There is simply too much Cover Your Ass (CYA) paperwork in Special Education, to protect the school from lawyers and to “ensure” that we are doing what we are supposed to do. Unfortunately, short of getting out of Special Education, I will have to just suck it up and do what needs to be done on this one. I have a feeling that I will continue to whine about it in the future though. 🙂

6. That my Personal Learning Network from Twitter and the online communitythat I am a part of has been an integral part of my success as a teacher this year. If I have a question, I can usually find the answer or a direction to look from someone there. I get lots of ideas for new things to try in the classroom and how to use technology in a more “real” and integrated manner, instead it just being an add-on in my classes.

7. I have learned that I wouldn’t enjoy teaching nearly as much without the generous support of my wife. She doesn’t bug or get angry with me if I say that I have to work on school stuff in the evening or weekends, even though I know at times there are other things she would like us to be doing or the work stops us from going somewhere. Being a Special Education teacher, there is almost always school work of some sort to do on “our time”. This isn’t something that I just learned, but sometimes you just have to look at and say thank you for understanding.

8. I learned that I like the Mac, a lot more than a PC. At first I wasn’t too thrilled with the Mac, it just felt clunky to me. Now that I have been using for almost six months, when I try to go to a Windows based computer, to be honest I don’t really like it, it feels clunky to me. I guess it is all about what you use daily and are used to. Changing over was good for me professionally because that is what we use inMaine and we are a 1:1 school where almost all the students have a Mac issued to them. It has made a difference in my classroom.

9. Be positive. I continue to be a very upbeat and positive person. I put on my game face, no matter what is happening elsewhere to be a positive influence on my students and in the school. Some days are tougher than others, but it is better to work at being positive than being a negative influence. Negativity sucks and I try every way to avoid being sucked into it, no matter where it comes from. As the song goes “Be Happy!”

There are other things that I have learned about myself this school year, but those are top 9, but most of all I know that I am a teacher.

What have you learned about yourself as a teacher this year?

Have you made a difference today? How?

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