Slice of Life ChallengePlease join the challenge over at Two Writing Teachers!
Monday was spent working with teachers. I am a facilitator for our county wide professional development called Literacy Journey. We learn about being readers and writers as we teach readers and writers. We focus on best practices and learn from each other. I've been part of this amazing group for the past four years and I feel so grateful! Every year we ask our teachers to write an initial reflection about themselves as teachers. I decided to write my own here today.
Me as a teacher?!?! I'm beginning my twentieth year and I still have so much to learn. That surprises me. When I think back to my beginning years, I looked at those veteran teachers and thought...Wow! You must know it all!!...I certainly don't. I do know this, I still love my job. I love reading and I love writing and I love reading and writing with my students.
Looking back, reading and writing in school look so different now. We write. We blog. We comment on blogs. We tweet...but it's all still writing. I am an active blogger and I keep a writing notebook (I'm on #58). These practices help me BE a writer! Reading...there are so many books to read! There are so many MORE books for middle schoolers: it's amazing!! We read books. We read blogs. We read on eReaders. We read graphic novels. We read picture books. We read when we listen to audiobooks....it's still all reading.
As I've worked on improving my practice as a teacher, I've found myself reading & writing more than ever! I can recommend books to students and teachers. I can troubleshoot writing assignments, because I've done them myself. For me in my classroom, being a reader and a writer is necessary as a teacher. Growing up my dad was the manager in his office. He would always be the first one in and make the first pot of coffee. He told me that it's important that he never ask anyone else to do anything that he wasn't willing to do himself. That's what I do when I read and write with my students and for my students.
This year, I want to do a better job of balancing reading instruction and writing instruction. I feel like it's a see saw...one year, I excel at reading & writing suffers and the next year it flips. I am going to be purposeful in my time management to help me balance these two and integrate them in the most meaningful way. I also want to use a digital method to keep up on my conference notes. Those are my goals for the year.
Many changes this year make me excited to see what's going to happen and make me nervous. I will keep my eyes on my reason for being here...my students. The most important goal I'm working towards is for my students to be readers and writers as they leave sixth grade.