I have always considered myself to be a reflective person, always looking at aspects of my life and determining where I have done well and where I have fallen short. Some may say that I am probably very critical of myself (especially when it comes to anything about myself as a teacher and my classroom), but it is because I am always looking to improve who I am and how I live my life. And a big part of that reflection takes place as I look at my career as a teacher.
This is my 9th year as a teacher; all 9 years spent in the realm of Early Childhood-- with 8 years of my experience in a preschool age classroom and one year in Kindergarten. ( It was so scary, I taught it for one year and then went crawling back to a preschool classroom! Just kidding!!)
This school year will mark my 1st full year as a preschool teacher in a city other than Chicago and I think I am feeling something similar to the "7 year marriage itch"...Except it feels more like a "9 year teaching itch"!!
As I sat down at the computer tonight, thinking about what cute teaching activity that I wanted to blog about, I stopped and started thinking about the past few weeks. And the only conclusion that I came to was that I am run down and in desperate need of a Mental Health Day!! This year I have 15 boys and only 4 girls in my classroom. Even with 2 awesome aides, it is ALOT to handle. And once again (3rd time this month), it has taken its toll on me. I usually hit some kind of wall in mid-November, so this is really early for me!
And I keep asking myself: "What am I doing wrong?" OR "What am I NOT doing that I SHOULD be doing?" And that is where all the reflection sets in.
This year, my Head Start program is undergoing its Federal Review, so the pressure is on for everyone! And as all teachers know, the field of Education is turning into a nightmare, where everything revolves around results and numbers. And with all that is: PAPERWORK!! Yes, the dreaded paperwork!
Maybe it is just the paperwork that is stressing me out the most. Why? Because it takes me away from what I feel I do best: Teach young children. And with the group I have this year, the children need my undivided attention.
Or maybe I have not yet mastered the ability to teach young children and meticulously keep up with data and maintain files. Maybe I procrastinate too much when it comes to entering data and pushing papers around. I don't know...but whatever it is, it has got me stressing out and seeking more out of myself as a teacher.
So on that note, I am in the process of taking a deeper look at my classroom, the needs of my children and how I can better meet their needs. After 8 years of teaching in the same city and this being my first full year as a teacher in a new city, I am realizing that it is time to change things up. I am reflecting alot and I am seeking out ways to revamp aspects of my teaching.
It is time to take a deeper look at my teaching practices & techniques and see what needs to come undone and what needs to be developed.
In the time being, I will only be blogging about the learning fun that I am having with my own little munchkin at home. And we have been up to quite a bit of fun stuff!
So, for now... My classroom and my teaching practices are currently: