Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week One, 11-12

This could be one of the better starts to a year of teaching in recent memory.  My classes seem very mellow to manage and engagement is pretty darn high, something I attribute to my experience at EdCampSFBay and some ideas I gained from the sschat hashtag on Twitter.  The good start also might have to do with the fact that I reevaluated what was really important and actually dropped some things.  I declined a nomination as a site rep to my local teacher’s union because I don’t need the aggravation involved in groups that will probably get little done in the end.  During our district meeting I counted at least three times that our feature presenter mentioned that there seemed to be a “lack of trust in this district”.  Look if a complete stranger is saying that in front of the entire population, it ain’t changing.  And I don’t need to waste energy from my classroom on a situation where only serious change from every angle will accomplish anything.

I’m also doing much better (or worse if you look at it different) at choosing not to fight battles that waste my time.  My absences are starting to pile up with students leaving for extended periods.  Not going to worry about it.  They have the information.  Students not showing up because they are waiting for an Independent Study spot?  Not my problem.  Either they are here learning or they’re failing.  And I’m not resisting students leaving my AP classes at all.  Can’t handle the workload?  Bye.  It’s nothing personal and I’m not angry about it at all.  For some reason I’ve been programmed or allowing myself to get all wrapped up into whether or not my AP program can sustain itself when students bail for easier classes.  No more.  I get good results, it’s a great class to prepare for college, let’s do this. 

This apathy towards those things I can’t control is making me a better teacher this year.  I’m more focused on the “now” and meeting more needs to those that care, creating more lasting relationships with kids that need the help here.  I may pay for that when I hold those not here accountable, but I’m willing to fight that battle when it comes down the road.   

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