Well, where do I begin? How did I get here?
How did I survive as a teacher. By no means is this the end all be all for every person to follow and learn from. This has just been my experience that helped me as an educator. I am sharing my journey and tips that helped me become a well versed educator. I have learned so much over the years and my goal is to share this information with the masses. I started off using handouts and lectures to flipping my classroom and integrating technology in the classroom making learning fun. But to understand the now you all have to be introduced to my past. I started off unsure and very green!!! LOL!!! I did not take into consideration that all learners are different, students are a reflections of what is spoken into them and how connected I would become. I have taught in low, average and above average campuses. GO and grab a snack because this series of post will be and interesting course of events. xoxo TK
Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_teacher.html
Where it all began
I began teaching in 2006 at a Title I school in Texas. At the time I was unaware of what I was walking into as I was just eager to start working. I was not 100% sure how effective I would be as a teacher but I knew I had the brains and the patients. So I applied directly to principals via email and then went back and filled out the district applications. From there it is a chapter in my book that continues today.
One day I was sitting around watching day time TV and the phone rang. One of the principals read my email and interviewed me the next day. He was surprised that I sent him the email and I was unsure why. I felt like teaching was a skill that anyone can do….or so I thought. How hard could teaching be? All I have to do is get up in front of my class and tell them what to do, right?
I was hired in September for an 8th grade science position….which meant my new students were with a substitute teacher for a month or so.
If you are an educator you already know what that means:
- The students were probably CHILLING all day everyday
- Students were allowed to do whatever they want just as long as they do not disrupt the sub (eat during class, walk out of the room, sleep, just sit there, throw things and more)
- Handouts, handouts and more handouts were assigned and grade as 100% (Every student literally has a 98…EVERYONE of them)
- I would have to go in and CLEAN UP the MESS and LACK of teaching
Now, do not bite my head off people because I did say SOME substitutes would allow this. 🙂 Just to keep it 100 some subs do tend to substitute teach just to get a pay check…..I’m just saying.
Ok, so let me get back to how I survived as a teacher. Each day I was faced with some challenges that they do not share in preparation for PPR or ACP program. My classroom was not perfect nor was it ideal to say the least (they want you to believe that classrooms are perfect). I was faced with discipline issues, struggling students, personal organization, understanding what my goals were as a teacher and more. Classroom management has NEVER been an issue for me…from day one students understood the rules. It was other issues that I was having trouble with. I was not reaching them and getting them where they should be educationally. I had no idea what I was doing wrong. I gave them all lessons, labs, handouts, songs, dances, rewards and everything. I struggled to understand the minds of those kids. I loved them because we had mutual respect for each other. But we were not on the same page as far as being successful in class. But to be honest as a first year teacher I do not think I was 100% invested in student success either. I was in survival mode. I did not have a routine lesson organizer, I was not assessing student work, I was not organized, I had no clue on how to reach all of the learning styles in my room. I was literally just trying to make it each day.
My first semester
The days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and then I was on Christmas break. I took time to clear my mind and think about it all….I then realized I needed a plan. I had to sit down and ask myself some questions:
- Why am I teaching?
- How do I reach these students?
- How do I reach the different learners in my classes?
- Am I reaching any of them?
- Do I encourage these students to be successful?
- How do I organize my lesson so that I am following the curriculum timeline and engaging the students?
- How do I set success criteria for each student?
The list was never ending and I wanted to try to answer them all in the remaining months of that school year. But the thing is, I couldn’t. I have been in education as of now 11 years and I can say that I am the bomb.com. But that was not accomplished in one year, it took years of experimenting with strategies and other professional development.This blog post will be a series of post that breakdown all that I have learned over the years. I will include tips that helped me. Stay tuned for Part II.