Just a quick post today -- papers and assignments keep piling up. Just when I'm sighing with relief about finishing one project, I've got two more needing urgent attention.
While it's tropically toasty outside, it's frosty cold in the bowels of the library (where all my classes are held). Halfway into class I actually put on a second jacket because the cardigan wasn't warm enough.
It's interesting that I haven't worn this cardigan more. However, I clearly remember the first time I wore it. It was the first day of my first year as a classroom teacher. It was also the first day I had taught in a classroom for a whole day. I was woefully unprepared, and that year ... it's hard to find enough words to describe that year. I felt overwhelmed, unappreciated, and incompetent. It was frustrating to try so hard and work so hard and still fail. That year taught me that failure is hard work. (A good thing to keep in mind with those students seen as unreachable or uncaring).
I finished that first year emotionally exhausted. Despite some trepidation, I devoted much of the summer to reflecting on what I wanted my next classroom to look like. I took copious notes on the procedures and routines that happen everyday -- things that may sound trivial, such as how students should move from their desks to the floor for story time. I was scared, but determined. I jokingly call msyelf an expert on how not to run a classroom, and I used my expertise to figure out a different way.
That second year in the classroom was AMAZING. Yes, I had my share of kinks to work out and failures. I still have so much to learn about building a safe, positive classroom for all learners, about differentiating lessons so everyone can learn, and thousands of other things. But the improvements I saw were undeniable. I believed that all that attention to detail made the students feel safe and that I was looking out for them. This allowed both me and the students to focus on learning and teaching and building relationships.
It was hard to choose to leave the classroom to focus on attaining my library sciences degree. I wondered whether I was cutting myself off from more deep learning. I had never wanted to be a classroom teacher, but the second year showed me why so many teachers return, year after year. But being an elementary school librarian is my dream job, and it was time to commit and go full-time.
And you thought this was just a quickie outfit post ...
Do you have clothing/accessories/jewelry that evokes memories or stories? I'd love to hear your story, either as a comment or as a post on your own blog!