Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maybe I Need to Relax ... A Little

Yesterday I spent the day really quite in a funk. I felt frustrated with the way some of my ideas were rained on by one of our technology coordinators. It made me start doubting myself. As usual, things in our district are in flux and that just wasn't sitting well either. I have spent much of the summer working on new curriculum and ways to integrate technology, only to find that I may have to switch those methods. And then there was that lovely Scholastic article that set me off. It was just too much.

I got an email from a friend who made it clear that I needed to relax about some things. He pointed out that it didn't seem that I had taken any time off this summer to just relax. Hmmm, I did take a week off to clean out some closets that I had been ignoring and I am sure there was a day or two when I spent just with the family. I guess he is right. I have been so worried about school that I haven't relaxed. I used to be more flexible and take changes in the district well.

Then today I got to read a blog entry by Clarence Fisher titled Getting Over Ourselves. For the most part, I do believe that I show my students I am a lifelong learner and I do learn with them. I think it is important to show them how to access information when needed. So why have I been freaking out about becoming an expert with the tools I want to use in my classroom this year? I am going to have my students blog this year and I have now blogged enough to be able to lead the way, but I don't have to know every little thing. We can learn it together. The same is true of the wikis I want to use. Do they really have to be complete before school starts? Isn't that the purpose of a wiki - collaboration? Wow! I really do need to get over myself. Thanks Clarence!

I have just under two weeks before we are back at inservice and three until I see students. I do have some work to do. My new classroom needs things put away and I do have a technology inservice to plan. But I bet there is time to take a day with some girlfriends and just laugh about life. I am sure my teenage sons need a little more "Mom time". (They might not admit to that though.)

Do I feel completely confident about teaching English and Social Studies this year? No. I want to know more. But I am fully prepared for the first few weeks. I know what and how we are going about it. And the rest I can learn as we go along. Ultimately, I am a good teacher. I know how to teach middle school students. I LOVE spending time with 8th graders! I really miss them. What more do I need to prepare? Taking a deep breath and getting over myself!


Clarence said...

Beautifully said. Know the basics. Plan where you want to go. Make it happen together.

Sheehy said...

That's more like it. And the funny thing about being an expert with this technology is that when you sink yourself into the professional conversation, you forget how much you know and how little your students will know. You'll spend three weeks begging them to highlight a word and click the hyperlink icon or trying to get them to post an article instead of just saving it. And you know this - computer teacher - but probably forgot. I did that with my class this summer. I thought a weekend before, "I haven't prepared enough!" And then when it began it became obvious, "I over-prepared!" So kick back and have a blast! And assign yourself some fun writing assignment that has nothing to do with teaching.

SherryC said...

I am thinking about taking my camera out and taking some beautiful pictures. I am not much of a photographer, but would like to learn. Does that sound relaxing?

Tracy said...