Wow, once again, I find myself reaching out at the end of December. During the school year, I find I am so busy I don’t have (make) time to write. This year it is especially demanding as I am in a new grade – creating new lessons, materials, tests, and all that goes with teaching a new grade. Although I have a new grade, 4 now, 3 last year, I have the same students as last year; I moved on to the next year with them!
I am learning how to teach the new curriculum in science and social studies. Math and English Language Arts is the same kind of stuff as last year, just at the next level. It is a lot of work, academically, learning how to make the lessons fun and interesting, as well as getting the objectives covered. Being with the same students is great because I already know them, and they know me. So much time is saved at the start of the year when the students know my expectations and routines, and we just have to go over rules and consequences.
With a few new students added to the class it is interesting, and fun, to see how the kids from last year tell the new kids about what they need to do, the routines and what I expect of them. A famous saying in my classroom is, “When do you do your best?” “Always!” Another saying is “Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you”. When I say this to students they usually smile bashfully and seem to perk up a bit.
Of course, I am working on the winter break, marking and preparing for report cards, which will be due at the end of January 2018. Those few weeks will fly by once we get back so I try to do some prep now while I have no pressure!
I will make a better effort to write more consistently for the remainder of the school year so that anyone looking to read about what it is really like to be a teacher will get a better sense of it from my blog. I don’t know about others, but I find being a teacher is very time consuming, and you don’t get paid for all the extra hours. I don’t mind putting in extra (unpaid) hours because when I do, it pays off in other ways. I expect my students to be prepared, so I must lead by example by being organized, prepared and ready myself.
On that note, I do need to get back to finding a more efficient way to mark bell work, and I would like an idea to enhance vocabulary without doing weekly spelling lists/test. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
My take away from this is,
- to use downtime to prepare for when you know you will be busy,
- keep routines and procedures that work well for you,
- always review rules and consequences, even with the same students,
- take time to do what you love outside of work. See the picture at the top, it really is self-explanatory.
- Take care of yourself so you can look after those that depend on you!
Wishing you all a wonderful day/evening and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2018!
Yours in Education,