Over the course of my career, I've moved a lot - states, schools, grade levels, and classroom. I haven't stayed in a grade level for longer than 2 years consecutively. Tiring, yes. But, rewarding, absolutely. I've taught grades 2-5 over the last 13 years, and each year I've learned so much about that particular age of student and the state standards I was expected to teach. There was definitely a learning curve, but through a lot of extra time and dedication, I was able to be successful in my classroom. I was just a tad uncomfortable, and that uneasiness, caused me to grow myself.
Today I've spent a lot of time thinking about that word growth. We had a motivational speaker today that really focused on teachers growing themselves in order to be the best teacher we can be for our students. I had an image of a flower poking its head out of the soil each spring. I imagine that if flowers could feel, that growing experience would be quite painful. I know my nieces often have growing pains in their legs at night and they've told me how much it hurts. But, that flower continues to push through the soil when given the proper elements to allow it to grow. If not given the proper environment and elements, that flower could survive for a little while, but the potential strength is never fulfilled.
I never realized until this summer how complacent I had become with my work. I knew I was a good teacher and I got great results, but I was not being pushed out of my comfort zone any longer. I was on the verge of growing apathetic. Something very dangerous in our profession. I was beginning to lack the excitement, enthusiasm, and passion that I needed on a daily basis to inspire my students.
Since May, I've been pushed like never before. When I hear people talk about stepping outside of their box, I imagine little steps. I jumped a mile outside of mine this year. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be this far out of my box, but I had forgotten what that uncomfortable feeling was like. That feeling of being unsure of what the next move is going to be. The uneasiness of something new.
This blog will probably take on a different feel this year. I'll still be sharing here and there about things I've done or technology tools that I am utilizing, but I won't have as much time with students. Instead, I'll be working with teachers primarily. Part of my job is coaching teachers to become better, evaluations, and teaching strategies to teachers to utilize in their classroom and provide support to implement those strategies.