Thursday, January 25, 2018

Each teaching/learning week is a journey of its own

As I dig into the classroom work, I recognize that each teaching/learning week is a journey of its own. What you expect at the start of the week is often not exactly what you get by the end of the week. Multiple unexpected events occur, events that impact the week's teaching/learning. Some typical unexpected events include illness, student learning reactions/response, new ideas, lesson results, and energy differentiation. This change is not necessarily good or bad, but simply part of the life of teaching and learning which offers an ever changing landscape.

Full of energy on Monday I looked forward to a very busy week, but now on Thursday with a bit less energy, I find that I have to really focus in on the learning tasks that are essential and yet to be completed, tasks such as students' review and corrections for a recent math test, Symphony math work, and some prep for my small reading group. I also had to miss a meeting due to a minor transportation issue and family needs. As educators we're constantly assessing the teaching/learning landscape to determine what's most important, and what we can do with the energy, time, and expectations we have.

I typically choose with a family-first, student-first lens. If family and students need me, I'll sometimes postpone other events to fulfill those needs. I like to stay faithful to my commitments, but there are times when I can't do that and still maintain the family-first/student-first commitment. This leads me to another thought which is that the more I dig into the classroom efforts, the more I realize that teaching is a professional, full time-plus job--truly to teach well demands your full attention, it's not just a hobby or add-on. To teach well takes the best of us, and when we do it well in good circumstances it is a very rewarding job too.