Sunday, October 26, 2008

This school year

Each and every school year is unique and full of hope and promise especially at the beginning of the year. We have summer to become rejuvenated and excited about our students and the new things we hope to try with them. As fall passes and our students learn the routine, our journey moves closer to fulfilling expectations of growth and learning for all of us. Of course, monkey wrenches and twists and turns change our course. All good teachers know that we must be flexible. These are people that we are teaching and just as each of us is unique, so are our students. What worked last year may or may not this year. Those lesson plans that we work so hard on, by the end of Monday are needing to get reworked. Such is the life of a teacher.
Each week I am supposed to teach 31 classes for 45 minutes. My schedule is very tight with many days having back to back classes with no break in between. Teachers come with their students and help out in the computer lab. I usually am in front of the SMART Board and the teacher is at the computer. The teacher is an active participant in the lesson and gets a feel for what the students are needing to do once directions have been given. I like that the computer lab is a place in which students and teachers are coming to learn new things.
This evening as I sit and work on my lesson plans for this upcoming month, I am having trouble with keeping my classes (grade levels) on similar lessons. Some students I have not seen for 2 weeks and other students have missed 1 week and other classes have never missed a class with me. In-services, vacations, field trips, speakers and other miscellaneous absences have made lesson planning a challenge. I have tried a new idea with having students create a whole class digital story telling project. It is a good thing that I am flexible because it is taking much longer than I anticipated :)
I am taking a graduate class right now called "21st century web resources for teachers and students". I love being the student. Learning from other professionals in this online class allows me to do just that.
The students continue to grow and learn from the dedicated individuals that are a part of their lives. I know that the teachers in my schools also continue their school year to be flexible and meet the challenging needs of their students. It is quite a journey for us all.

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