Sunday, August 19, 2007

My First Meme

I guess I'm an official blogger now. I was tagged by Mimi, so here I go:

1. I am a good teacher because...I know all of my students can succeed and will if I make the right connection with him/her. I'm passionate about my subject and want to pass this on, though I know not every kid will have my passion, but I just know every kid can feel success with something in my class. We start with small successes and proceed. Upon that, we build.

2. If I weren't a teacher, I would be...working as a personnel manager or managing a theater. I love working with people, and I have managed a theater previously while working through school. I have to work in a social job. No cubicles or closed-in offices.

3. My teaching style is...organized chaos. Numerous activities are occurring at once with lots of interactions between students. I like being able to give each group of students a gentle push in the right direction and watching them go. If they aren't enjoying themselves, something is wrong. I don't mean to say all we do is necessarily fun, but they should be making the best of things and making connections with one another.

4. My classroom is...organized, maybe overly so. I can tell you where anything is at any given moment. However, during the period things are a mess, but we clean up real well. I am often teased for being so organized with everything in my room. I even hang things on the wall with a plan, even if others don't realize it.

5. My lesson plans...are online. I use my online calendar every day, making adjustments and additions all the time. I like that my students can click on my site and get the day's assignment. This goes for parents, other teachers, and the administrators, too. I like switching activities at least two or three times a period, so my plans are often quite busy and everchanging up until I teach the lessons. I make alterations on the fly and have to record these later online. Just because I'm organized doesn't mean I can't adapt. :)

6. One of my teaching goals have at least two activities per period to keep the kids' attention shifting to maintain their focus. Since I have a collaborative and social room, I need to keep the students focused on the business at hand, and multiple activities makes this easier.

7. The toughest part of teaching is...the administrative b.s. For example, this summer our English Department set up two days of summer work to make changes to the basic curriculum (better alignment, more student-friendly readings, sharing best practices, etc.) and then the district administration heard we had this time set-up, and they hijacked 3/4 of the time with their own mandates. We lost our collaboration time. I detest the paperwork assigned for inanity. I also don't like collecting data for the sake of data, which will sit in a binder gathering dust. Ugh!

8. The thing I love most about teaching is...working with the kids. They make every day worth it. The last days are my favorite when I can shake the seniors' hands and hug them and congratulate them. I get so excited for them! I get the "thank you" and the card and the hug and all is right with the world.

9. A common misconception about teaching is...that we don't work very often or very hard. People forget that we can't just walk in and begin. We prepare. We grade. We take classes during the summer. This is a time consuming profession. My buddy once said you only work 40 weeks. I told him I work more hours than him, and he laughed. I work 40 weeks and 60 hour weeks for 2400 hours. He works 50 weeks with 40 hour weeks for 2000 hours. He quit laughing at me. Another guy (we were playing hoops at the time) heard us and told my buddy that he didn't understand until he married a teacher. It's a time consuming job!

10. The most important thing I've learned since I started teaching...was to document everything. My best friend was almost fired based on two students lying about her and a lack of support from the administration because they believed the students over her (unbelievable, I know). After a long fight of about 8 months, she was finally proved correct when one of the two students admitted guilt. That was a tough lesson for everyone.

I will tag Seth, Brian, Mister Teacher, Mrs. Chili, and Brian B.


Mrs. Chili said...

Thanks, Prezz! I'll do this as my Ten Things Tuesday this week!!

Seth said...

Thanks for the comment... never knew you were out there! I'll be doing this later today... after my shopping list of other things for a fine Sunday afternoon.

Brian Backman said...

I enjoyed reading your reflection, and I found #5 especially interesting. I'm going to use a homework blog for the first time this year, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. I'd be interested to see the site you use for your students' assignments/homework.

Repairman said...

DrP, Your meme sounds like a manifesto for great teaching!

Sorry about the admin hijack of your collaborative time...they should be working on getting "buy-in," not force-feeding staff.

I'm looking forward to your comments on grading, the last secondary frontier.

Repairman said...

I should have said, "More of your comments."

Mister Teacher said...

Ehh, what's up, Doc?
I did something similar (EIGHT things about me) back in June. Here's a link:
Thanks for tagging me!

Brian B said...


My post is here.

NYC Educator said...

That last one is very important. It's good you learned that so early.

la dolce said...

time consuming, but at least you get summers off! :)