Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thoughts on blogging and teaching

I'm hoping that I will be able to clear out a few moments every now and again while I prepare to continue with my blog. I've begun to realize how much I used blogging as a time for mindful reflection, and that part of feeling off balance was simply that I felt I had no time to reflect as I worked to become a teacher.

But to be the best teacher I can be for my students, I've realized I have to be centered and focused, and part of that for me is time to reflect and write. Somewhere in between lesson planning, making the materials I need for my classroom (I've already adapted Frere Jacques to teach vowel sounds and made a dance to go with it, adapted a template I found for flash cards to a "game" where my students are eagerly calling out the words they can read (or for students who are just learning to blend sounds, they blend them), and played a highly popular game of "Math Simon Says" (Simon says pat your head 7+8 times).

And yet, yesterday I felt frazzled. I know I'm not getting all the sleep I need during the week, though I'm now careful to eat breakfast and show up early to school where I have a couple minutes to play my banjo and mentally prepare for the day. As I was trying to help two students, both of whom needed extensive direction and attention, my observers came in just as one of my students began to threaten tears. Somehow, we all made it through, but though the rest of the day went well (and the student later decided that the rhyming word worksheet was not the end of the world after all), the whole thing left me desperately wanting a few minutes to just sit and listen to rain (which was predicted for last night, but never showed). Or to go to my favorite spot in a nearby park (but I also needed to eat some dinner when I got home).

So I took a few minutes to blog, and it was good. I have a new camera that I'm trying to use to create things for my students, and I bought the biggest memory card I could find for it so that I'll have enough room to also take pictures of things like the blackberries in the woodlot next to my apartment. And I need to remind myself of the same thing I keep telling my students. Okay, take a deep breath. Now, let it go. Get up for a few seconds and shake the wigglies out if you have to, and then we get back to work.

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