Saturday, April 6, 2013

Preparing for the final stretch

     Spring break is coming to an end and the final quarter of the year starts on Monday. I decided to work both optional workdays this week to try to get ahead for the upcoming weeks.  When I walked into my classroom the first workday my room was a complete mess.

       Thursday I wrote out a to-do list and tried to knock out as much as I could.  By 4:30 I realized that there was no way I would get lessons planned and my room organized so I decided to work again Friday.  I am so thankful I did as I got everything I wanted to accomplished. I planned a poetry unit which will last me at least 3 weeks and I wrote out 2 weeks of Social Studies lesson plans. Walking out of the building on Friday was a huge relief.

Although it isn't completely clean, being able to see the table is so nice!
Compared to the before picture, this is a major improvement!

Decided to try groups again, hopefully this isn't a huge mistake at the end of the year.
Bulletin board I created for my poetry unit.  The leaves have the vocabulary
they will be learning.  On the trunk of a tree I will post a new poem each day we will read together.
      Third quarter was very hard for me.  My students lacked motivation to learn and their behavior was just terrible.  This seemed to be the same for most teachers in our school.  It really started to suck the love of teaching right out of me.  There were times when I questioned whether or not I could even do this for another year.
    Once those thoughts started going through my head I had to take some time to step back and look at why I was so unhappy.  Before starting my first full year I had these big dreams of getting every student in the room to be excited to learn, to become teacher of the year, to never have to give any failing grades, to have parents who supportive and wanted to help.  The reality is that those dreams were just a set up for a big let down and there probably isn't one first year teacher in the world who could actually accomplish all of those things.  Sure this year has been stressful and not what I expected but without challenges in life there would never be room to grow.
   That being said, I decided in order to bring back my love for teaching I have to change myself, not the kids.  Being able to get ahead on lessons and having a reorganized room will help me with a fresh start for the last quarter.  I also wrote my students a letter that I will be giving them on Monday.  It pretty much says that I want to make the last quarter the best that we can and that I have a lot of exciting things planned. My students could tell by the end of the last quarter that I was getting burnt out and I want them to see that we can all come back from Spring break refreshed and ready to give it our all.  I've been having long talks with God to help me back this quarter much better.  I'll be entering the classroom Monday with excitement in my eyes and hope that I can it returned from even just a few students.
   Good luck to everyone else as we are all on the final stretch!

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