Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A new beginning

The summer is not over yet but it is winding down and thoughts of the new school year are showing up in my brain. I have, like most people, the need for a new beginning. A fresh start with new ideas and students that are excited to learn, is a wonderful opportunity for teachers.

I read Dan Meyer's blog this morning and fourteen words stuck with me. "It's basically about shifting from getting people to love you, to you loving them." I am going to keep this as my focus this year. It seems outwardly a simple concept but for me I know it will be a challenge. I am a people pleaser. I want to be liked, thought of as intelligent, innovative, caring, a leader in technology... If I am honest with myself, this philosophy of "loving others rather than having others love me" is not what I do. This is important because my actions are not necessarily "for the students and in their best interests" even though most times I think they are. I do have ulterior motives.

This fall our school district is jumping in with both feet to RTI (Response to Intervention) which will bring about changes in how we deal with students that are struggling with learning. Our schedules will change, the way we group children and teach in small groups will change, the way that we document what we have tried will change. We will need to show patience, be flexible, and be willing to try new things. I am a part of the school district and as such, a part of this new RTI action. So I will need to change too. In past summers, I took the opportunity to get my lessons and school year planned to some degree. This summer, I am taking a wait and see approach. Fortunately, I have much more experience to draw upon now that I have been in my computer teaching position for 6 years. I am going to keep in my mind loving others instead of the other way around :)


  1. I had a rough year last year, and this switch in philosophy might help me. We're already working on RTI; I'm thinking about not worrying so much about people liking/respecting me, but putting forth an effort to like and respect others.

  2. I will be moving from the Specia Education classroom (25 years) into the position of Testing Coordinator and I must say that your post has made an impact on me. I am also the RtI Manager for our campus and I can testify to the frustration that general ed teacher feel regarding RtI. My principal stresses that we do what is right for children, and RtI is the right thing for the children. It is hard work on the teachers; it requires much more assessment and data collections; It takes time that none of us have to spare. My hat goes off to those who work so hard to give all children the chance to succeed, and I will work very hard to show my love and appreciation to those teachers this year. Thank you for reminding me to do so by your post.

  3. That's a wonderful sentiment Heidi. I think we could all take a leaf out of your book.