Sunday, August 16, 2009

The New School Year: A "Do Over" , a "Mulligan"

I always like the beginning of the school year. Teachers and administrators are typically happier and friendlier. Coming back fresh from some R&R everyone is a little more optimistic about what the year holds. Teachers are talking about the new ideas and strategies they want to try to implement into their classes. Everything is good in the world! But is it?

Going into my 10th year of teaching, (this was a career change for me) I still love what I do. But education does offer teachers something most professions don't... the opportunity for a "do over", a "mulligan". Can we do it better this year? What worked in my classroom last year--what didn't? What kinds of new things can I try to implement this year to connect with the students? Every year teachers get to re-charge over the summer and return to the new school year with fresh new ideas, new students and opportunities.

Oh yeah, something else we have as matter how busy, no matter how much we have on our plate throughout the school year, it some how magically goes away as we walk out the door on our last day. We really do start over with a clean slate every year.

Even with a new slate, it is always the same at the beginning of the school year; teachers come into the new year upbeat and ready to take on the world and before you reach the end of October teachers are counting down the days to Thanksgiving. Why doesn't the optimistic, adventurous, and the willingness to try something new attitude last? What is it about teaching that sucks the energy out of teachers? Why is there such a shift in attitude? Could it be the "stuff outside the classroom" that is sapping the energy of the teachers. Are we expecting them to do too much other stuff? Is it the students? I'm not sure.

picture from posted by DontBblu

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