Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Fitting it all in....

The new school year is upon us and off and running! I can hardly believe that we are already in the new year!

This year, thankfully, I am able to ease up on the new curriculum and do what I know is best for students. This is and was AMAZING news! Last year my department was given new curriculum and told to follow pretty closely....I am thankful we have been given some leeway. More about that struggle here. 

Although I get to bring back some #eduawesome stuff, I still am lacking the amount of time I have had just two years ago. So I feel as though I am back to the drawing board, AGAIN. How do I teach all I need to in just fifty-five minutes when I used to have eighty-eight?

Our new curriculum is missing grammar and writing. I tried to supplement last year as much as I can. It's difficult as English is one subject, and then literature is another; that is how I used to break down my block periods. Now I have to find a way to bring in the grammar and writing throughout the readings. That shouldn't be difficult, and yet it very much is.

I feel that my seventh graders (and looking at the dismal scores I just received) need a healthy dose of grammar and sentence structure. Doing grammar here and there when needed last year didn't work. Students, although they have had grammar throughout elementary school, don't always remember the rules or even what the parts of speech are. I use and LOVE 8 p*ARTS from Jon Corripo and Cheryl Morris, but once a week isn't cutting it. Plus, if a lesson runs over or the class needs more time on something, the first thing that is moved is grammar.

So how do I do it?

I had to reach out to my AMAZING PLN on Voxer.

I seriously love the ELA peeps on our Flipped Learning Voxer group. They are always inspiring, passionate, wonderful listeners, and full of perfect suggestions and advice. Without them and all of my PLN, I would be lost. They told me what I already knew.

As I am still struggling with fitting it all in. I had to ask my Voxer group "How do I fit grammar, writing, reading, research, listening and speaking all in one period?!"

They said:

You don't.

They are right. I don't. I put things together. Cover topics in multitudes. And perhaps the most important, I do what is BEST for my students.

But as we have entered 2018, I am STILL feeling stuck.

I am still struggling. 

It feels as if I am a brand new teacher all over again. I second guess myself, my lessons, and what I should do next. I keep thinking back to my incredibly low scores from this past year. I NEVER stress about scores! They are a moment in a student's life! But this year, they have crept into my brain, returning over and over stressing me out. They are a part of me know.


In moments like these, I am thankful that I can reach out. That I can talk to other educators that lift me up. Those that remind me that I can do this. That I have before and I will again. 

It's moments like these, that I know I will make it. Sure, it's difficult and I have been down on myself, but colleagues near and far are here helping me along. I have students that make me smile daily. And it is all my students, who remind me why I am here. For them.