As I ramble, because my mind is racing at 1,278,946 miles an hour, and you begin delving into the "meat and potatoes" of this post, please disregard my numerous tangents. I believe I have had a massive revelation.
Therefore, I apologize in advance.
Have you gotten to the point in your teaching where you realize you can be so much... more? Also, have you realized you can perform beyond how you have taught before because you have gained a great deal of experience? Like your mind is a reservoir of resources/experiences and you just don't know what to do with it? I think about the pattern of my brain activity over the course of a typical day-- and I am beginning to realize I... intimidate myself.
My mind is like Pinterest. When I see one anchor chart in a teacher's classroom, or see one display, my brain plasters that image into a very complicated web of fascinations. I constantly peruse the Internet, spending numerous hours reading weblogs and articles, locating "seeds" that can spark lessons, and downloading short videos that can make learning a concept a more visually appealing experience. I have developed probably 1,000 resources in nine years of teaching, some kind of rudimentary and not so tremendous, others astounding. Then I realize I have worked for Scholastic since 2009 and communicate with numerous authors and exemplary teachers across the United States. I am promoting the Scholastic Storia app on the iPad this year, also. I guess I am knowledgeable. (The main idea of this is NOT for me to "toot my own horn", by the way. These are just my personal thoughts-- and I don't think I'd be able to communicate the purpose of this post properly if I left pivotal accomplishments in my life out.)
Yet as I sat at the district's elementary writing committee meeting this afternoon, I glanced around the hosting teacher's classroom, fell in love with her anchor charts as well as several concepts of hers, and hung on to her every word as she spoke about a very grueling FCAT 2.0 writing workshop she attended this summer. I then thought to myself, I could be more to my district and my fellow teachers, not just teachers in Texas or Arizona or wherever who read the posts here and know about teachingvision.org.
Then the same thought ran through my mind yesterday at our Common Core task force meeting. I have ideas for implementing Common Core for fourth graders (though Florida's fourth grade teachers still address Next Generation Sunshine State Standards), though I honestly do not know where to begin in communicating all that's within my vision. Yet when our assistant principal mentioned a database will be created for the teachers at the school, I realized it was my time to step up, to be the exemplary contributor I have always envisioned. I should not be afraid to share. The littlest thing can really help someone to achieve something awesome.
The thing is, it's very hard for me to vocally express myself sometimes. I am willing to create anything anyone needs, yet it's an immense challenge for me to communicate that point across. When the teacher at the writing meeting brought up Lucy Calkins and Writingfix.com, I thought Ooo! Ooo! to myself. I have read about all that extensively over the years, yet I've never really talked about them much to others I am near.
Then I thought about a plethora of other connections as well as resources I have made over the years, realizing I rarely share them with people I know. I share them here with people I have never met. I have been complacent with the same thing, day to day, for a long time.
So... I am writing a teaching bucket list. I have realized I have needed to set teaching goals for a long time. Some will benefit you here! Some will benefit my district and school. Others will benefit my self-confidence, because honestly, I lack in it at times and shouldn't feel like it is lacking. I need to tell myself I can do anything I put my mind to!
- Follow through with my blogging at Scholastic (about Storia and book recommendations) this school year with EXUBERANCE. I want to step up to the plate and create a lot of good resources for the Storia app in my classroom. I didn't feel like I stepped up to the plate in the last few months of school last year when I received the iPad with Storia installed on it from Scholastic. I can be honest online and everywhere... I guess sometimes it is hard to implement something at first.
- Make more videos of my students' metacognition, collaboration, etc. I used to be horrible at videos, but now, I really enjoy it. I just need to keep doing it.
- Publish more of what my students accomplish in my Language Arts classroom. (.pdf-wise)
- IMPLEMENT, starting tomorrow, a strong, somewhat grueling, but fantastic curriculum I have envisioned for Language Arts for a long time. My goal is to expose kids to the excellent world of reading and writing through phenomenal examples.
- Smile more often. Realize not every day is going to be a pivotal accomplishment, but sometimes even... a step backward. Yet then the following day, I have to be a warrior and challenge my students.
- I desire to publish at least one of my young adult chapter books.
- I desire to do a wonderful job presenting Common Core resources to MES' fellow educators as well as Language Arts resources for the district.
- I desire for my students' parents to realize everything I stand for as an educator.
- Eventually do something more than just teach. (Publishing? Public speaking? Starting a teaching-related business? Being someone really cool like Lucy Calkins? Wow... that would take a lot of channeling the tangled web in my mind!)
Well, well, well. I have to get off for a while, but hopefully... I have communicated my thoughts properly, not befuddling you, turning you off, etc. Have a wonderful day tomorrow! It's going to be Thursday!