Sunday Night Reflection

Here it is the Sunday before we go back to school and I have a ton of things to do tonight just to be barely prepared to face the full day tomorrow. I feel like this right now:

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And this is what I have to do before I goto sleep to feel ok tomorrow:

  • 1 page essay about racial equality (grad school)
  • Update my blog (personal)
  • Create discussion questions about instructional differentiation for an activity (grad school)
  • Create my Just Words powerpoint/lesson (school)
  • YouthBuild collaboration email (school)
  • Student A IEP Follow up (from me to staff)
  • Student B IEP Follow up (from me to staff)
  • Student C IEP Information Request (from me to staff)
  • Student D IEP Information Request (from another Sped teacher to me)

This is the frustrating part of this fellowship. I haven’t be able to not work for quite some time. Exhaustion doesn’t really describe what I feel right now. I feel tired. I feel drained. I feel like I can’t give anymore of myself. Since June 5th, or whenever we started the fellowship I’ve experienced increasing responsibility and expectations from my graduate program, my high school, myself, my peers, myself, myself , and myself.

There’s a million things I always need to be doing to ensure a borderline passable education for my students every second of the day. It’s a really tough responsibility. But I decided to take on this challenge and am here, strong almost 9 months into the experience. With every success comes multiple setbacks in and around the classroom. But I don’t think I could trust my students development in anyone else’s hands. Already we’ve had two teachers leave our school mid trimester. The effect has been devastating to the teachers and administration. I personally have had to pick up two additional classes that I am responsible for overseeing. If ever there was a time when I was barely wading the water it would be right now.

I’m not complaining. I’m merely sharing the reality of my situation which may or may not be similar to yours… but I can only imagine that it will be in some way(s). I’m naturally equipped to do this work. It bothers me when I have negative interactions with my students. It bothers me when I think about teachers who have left this program or teaching prematurely. We’ve had quite a few people leave the fellowship all together. This shit is hard as fuck. I mean right now, I’m taking a break to blog. But I once I’m done I anticipate that I’ll be working at least until 1am to get everything done that I need to. And that’s with me already feeling like death. Right now I’m drinking a beer Modelo Especial to be exact. Just to take my mind off sheer vastness of my to do list(s) on a daily basis. Right now I’m eating Flipz and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because spending time making real meals just isn’t really the best use of my time. And hasn’t been since I applied to this fellowship.

I’ve said this a million times. I want t be GREAT at this. I want to be a great Educator. I want to be someone who can inspire hundreds/thousands/ and millions of people. It seems undoable. But its really not if you persevere. I mean the number of people I reach is truly unimportant. But pushing myself to show people that they are great has been and will forever be my goal. Today I watched Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech. What does it take to empower people to take their destinies into their own hands? What does it take to show people that they come from greatness and must continue to require greatness from themselves and those around them?

…. I have to get back to work now. But the reason I need to be a teacher is because I want my students to see that I am pushing myself to my own greatness. I don’t know how, but I want that drive for something better and greater in myself to rub off on them. That is what my teaching is really all about. Yes there’s the academics that they must learn and understand. But there’s a greater journey out there that they need to connect with as well… Hopefully I can highlight that path for them sooner rather than later.

One thing I want to focus on with my teaching is continuing to develop new methods to connect and engage my students. Right now I think I have really begun internalizing how to make academic content more appealing to the eye. My powerpoints have been my own form of art so to speak. But I don’t want to rely on just that. I can’t rely on my seemingly laidback and open lines of communication with my students. My goal for the remainder of the school year is to differentiate my own teaching. Switch it up, try new(er) things. Blah… everytime I speak about this I feel like I’m running in circles. I don’t know where the weekend went. But, its time to start the cycle all over again.

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