There are many truths about teaching that I could choose to share, but today I will share the 3 that are closest to my heart.
I am in my 22nd year of teaching. I have seen all kinds of education procedures, policies, programs and the like come and go. Right now, the "it" thing where I am is Marzano. His domains & test scores are used to determine my effectiveness as a teacher. People freak out about this but honestly, when I went to college all of the "Marzano stuff" was part of my degree. I took classes that covered every part of his plan. Marzano is simply good teaching and it's nothing new. You, in your heart, know what good teaching is. Always remember this no matter what new thing is the latest and greatest and you will be fine. Really, even with the test scores - because in the end if you are doing your best, then you are doing the most anyone can ask of you.
When I started teaching, I was going to save the world but I had to settle for the students in my classroom. I put just about every ounce of energy into them and some definitely benefitted on some levels (I was able to help get a lot of kids some much-needed services that they had somehow not been able to get in elementary school) while some did not change their ways much if at all. It's hard to un-do 6 years of bad habits once they get to Middle School. So it took a few years for me to realize and accept that I can't save them all. I know I can make a difference for some and I had to accept that that is ok.
It's ok because I know I am doing my best and if the student (and their parent) doesn't take ownership and do their part, then it really doesn't matter how much I do. After all, I cannot take their tests, I cannot fill out their job or college application or attend their job or college interview in their place. The student must act by using the tools I have provided to them.
Once you have peace with the first two aspects of teaching that I shared above, then you can have fun in your classroom! Look for the joy in every day. Find new ways to connect with your students and bring something new into your classroom. I'll try anything at least once to see if it makes the classroom more lively or more fun. Don't get me wrong - I teach the standards - I just look for ways to make them fun. Usually, that means finding some hands-on activity, a new song, or hopefully a new game to help my students learn a concept. Right now, I am obsessed with Plickers and Pixanotes. :)
So, dear reader, in honor of this Valentine's Day, I have poured out my teaching heart to you.
Thanks for stopping by!