Reflections #1

Before I begin, let me say this will not have the most scintillating vocabulary or expressive titles. All in all, as a mathematician with a talent for preoccupying my mind with daydreams and fantasies, it’s easier for me to keep it simple. Without a doubt I could spend an hour trying to come up with a creative title. And so, I decide it is not to be done. I blame my¬†upbringing.

Over the past few years I’ve been a teacher, and I enjoy it without end. For two years the high school classroom was my domain until it was time to move on to a different environment. So in an effort to make a change, a search for a different school landed me in a new magnet school focusing on global and leadership education. With hopes of entering an 8th grade classroom, I made the journey only to be transplanted into an elementary classroom: fifth grade. Ah, but the steps we take for a new adventure are seldom predictable. This particular journey came to an end before the end of the year not because of my abilities as a teacher, but because of the abilities of my administration… or lack thereof. Leaving for yet another location took me to my current position, which I love.

But this is simply background. To move further, I have to reflect on how I gauge my experiences and made some changes.

Think of me as a robot. Aside from my fantastical imagination, I am prone to cold and logical efficiency with my own spin on things. Although my structures are very straight forward and intelligible, I like to spice them up with a little color and pizzazz. Thus is my nature. In any case, transitioning from high school to elementary school was really difficult for me. I went from stone cold efficiency to teach over 100 students to trying to create a soft and cuddly elementary classroom of just 24 students. To speak with honesty, it was painful. My cold calculating view of grades and self-discipline could not be adjust for students so young and still developing.

Don’t let this confuse my nature, however, by making is possible to assume that I am also cold and calculated in my social and behavioral norms with children. I make very good connections with my students; we establish trust, jovial communication, and the understanding that we hold each other accountable for our actions. However, when it comes to the meat and potatoes of teaching, content, I’m like a robot without a heart. I don’t want to travel around Oz to find one either.

The struggle was real.

Now I am back in the upper grades, in the 8th grade to be more precise, and I have to make the switch again. Now I have to mutate from a soft and warm disposition back into the cold and calculating trigger that is used for teaching 105 students. There is no time to have these outlandish and completely complicated classroom rules and procedures; there are not enough minutes in the day! I need to revert back to that again because there is too much to keep up with, and I’m tired.

So for this next semester, I am going to focus on getting back to the cold businesslike routine of teaching a math class. It is the only way. The only way I know that works. We still have our discussions and activities and learning plans, etc. But this whole idea of all the extra extra extra fluff! is not the best idea for me until I get BACK into a routine for an efficient classroom.

As a young teacher, at least I know that now with half a year to make the change.

“The thing of it is, the very best part, is I have time now. Time enough at last.”

 

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