Friday, January 11, 2013
In Need of Some Inspiration
I am in need of some inspiration!
The last couple of weeks before winter break were tough and I definitely needed the break, but it was too short! Don't get me wrong, I was ready to get off of my lazy backside and back into my classroom. I just wasn't quite ready for the stress of it all! Some days I just sit and wonder if anything I am doing is right and if I am making any difference at all. Do you have those days? Please tell me I am not the only one!
They Dibels tested my first graders the week before Winter Break. Yep, that's what I said...the week before Winter Break! It was a lovely time to test my 6 year olds on something that I was going to later be evaluated on, don't ya think? Anyhow, I was so discouraged with my results because only half of my kids placed at core! Some were SO close! How discouraging though, to leave for Winter Break knowing this....
Well, this was our first full week back to school and guess what we did? PALS testing! So I have been stressing out all week! I normally don't really stress when my students are PALS testing, because I love seeing the results roll in and all the growth that they have made. I just feel like there is so much more pressure on us this year and I am so worried that all of my hard work is just not going to pan out. Why am I second guessing myself?
So my friend's class was tested on Monday and her kids did so great! I went home and cried, convinced that my kids were not going to perform as well. I was so proud of her and happy for her. What a great teacher! How could I compare? Then of course, I had to wait until Thursday, while all of the other classes' results rolled in! How stressful!! Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to these tests? I don't really pressure my students, but I take on all of the stress of it for them. I want so badly for them to do well and I feel like I have let them down if they don't. Well....they all did GREAT! Of course they did! I knew all along that they would, but why do I convince myself otherwise?
After all of this I decided that I was definitely in need of some inspiration!! I need to reassure myself that I am doing what is right. I love each of my students so much and I put so much of my heart and soul into each of them. I CAN'T let them down! (the perfectionist/mommy/teacher/giver/etc in me)
So I decided to RE-read this book:
I originally read The End of Molasses Classes at the beginning of the school year. It was the perfect way to kick off a new school year (especially after having a difficult class). I was so inspired and motivated to be the best teacher possible! I felt like Ron was personally talking to me (and calling me out on all the things that I slack on!). Then it faded....there was testing, paperwork, data analysis, child studies, IEPs, behavior problems, environmental situations for my students, school politics, not to mention TEACHING! So now I am reading it again and it is so worth it! I recommend it to all of you! Ron Clark is such an amazing teacher, devoting every ounce of his life to his students.
One inspiring quote from the book:
"Being a teacher isn't a job; it's a call to serve a higher purpose, to give of ourselves until we can give no more, and to make the happiness and well-being of our children our first priority." - Ron Clark
It reminds me of why I became a teacher in the first place! It was not a job that I chose. It was a calling that chose me! I put so much stress on myself because I have given so much of myself to my students and because they are my first priority. I became a teacher to make difference in the lives of children and not just academically. I don't want to be remembered as the teacher that taught me how to read or that 2 + 2 = 4. I want to be the teacher that inspires!! Inspires learning, inspires dreaming that anything is possible, inspires despite the fact that everyone else in their world and their life is telling them it isn't possible, inspires to keep trying and keep fighting! (Do I sound like a teacher fresh out of college that is ready to change the world? I miss that feeling!)
It makes me wonder...why did you become a teacher? What inspires you?