One of the many great things about being a teacher is that you get to close down and start over every year. There is time to reflect and ponder the happenings of last year and the possibilities yet to come. I needed this shut down time this summer more than I've ever needed it before. I had a tough year last year with many changes and challenges in my teaching.
I started a new position last year as a half time Reading Recovery teacher and half time classroom teacher. This is my dream job. Not only do I get to stay in the classroom to teach reading and writing but I get to work with kids one on one. The training for this was intense but the most powerful and useful training I've ever participated in. I love my time with the kids!
I had some school challenges this past year that got the best of me. I don't know why or how but I let my attitude change and I was defeated. I had a bad attitude and let that guide my thinking. I would still see sparks of the teacher I've always been but they would die as quickly as they flared up. I hated who I'd become but I wasn't sure how to get out of the cycle.
This summer I've spent a lot of time pausing and reflecting. I've thought about the great things that happened last year and the things I could have done better. I've thought about the times when my attitude got the better of me and the negativity spewed out of me. It wasn't the kids. They learned and grew and loved first grade.
I'm getting ready to start a new year. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to make sure I see the positive everyday and not let things I cannot control take over me again. I've reflected back on the things that I used to do that created great learning environments and gotten all of those ready for this year.
I read Donald Graves The Energy to Teach which was a great re-energizer for me. It has really helped me focus on what adds energy to my day and what takes it away. I think this will be a revisit every summer.
I'm ready to start over and try again. I'm ready for the fresh faces and the possibilities that await a new school year.