As the school year winds itself into Spring Break for most of the country, I find this time of year, Spring and rebirth and rejuvenation, as an excellent time to reflect. With time becoming more and more precious as the school year comes to the final quarter, the very pragmatic question of “Am I where I thought I’d be?”seems to always come up. But looking back over the years, that question was probably the wrong one to ask. A better question to ask may be, “Have students made the type of progress I hoped for?” Instead of seeing my school year as a set of topics to “cover” but as individuals that need designed experiences and meaningful growth, I can re-frame how I approach the last few months of school. Do I test prep my kids to death or dig into meaningful learning for them?
This time of year also makes me ponder my career as a whole. Am I on the right path? Am I doing enough to make a difference for all students? Am I in the “best” pond for me? Personally, and this probably isn’t healthy, I connect my self-worth to my ability to make an impact in my work. I think as teachers many of us feel this way. It might explain some of the national education struggles. Maybe I value the wrong things? What’s worth valuing and putting stock-in to make a huge difference for students? If you know me at all, I’m usually better at asking the question than knowing the answer. But sometimes it’s about knowing the right questions to ask because that allows us to reset our thinking. To challenge how we perceive the world. Do we as teachers challenge our values? Do our classrooms reflect what we value? (Whether you know or it or not, they do).
So, I hope that those of you that are taking part in the #AprilBlogADay challenge, see this opening topic as a moment to reflect and capture some insights while in the moment. To ask yourself, “Are you where you thought you’d be”? Professionally? With your students? In your school?
I’m looking forward to reading all of your posts. Lets get to it.