Friday, November 30, 2012

Teacher Identity

I am struggling with who I am as a teacher . . . it's an identity crisis!!

Look, I am not the hardcore teacher who says "my way or the highway" and all students will learn this material this way and if you don't get it, oh well.

I understand that students learn in different ways and at different paces.  I know some students enjoy repetition & worksheets, while others crave hands-on activities.  And then there's technology - lovers, haters, and whatevers.

We are a 1:1 tablet school now so I feel the pressure to use the tablets consistently in class.  But I struggle with the daily routine of creating quality online material with all the links and whistles.  Then, I know I need to differentiate in my classroom . . . ahhhhhh!  Oh yeah, and then there's COMMON CORE (echo echo) looming around the corner.  And new teacher evaluations for the state of Ohio.  And . . . IDENTITY CRISIS!?!?

Project Based Learning - love it!  Is that the teacher I should be?
Technology = flipped class - love it!  Is that the teacher I should be?
Standards Based Grading - love it!  Is that the teacher I should be?
Follow the textbook one section at a time - dislike this with a passion.  Is that the teacher I should be?
Lots of assessment and feedback - love it!  Is that the teacher I should be?
Work more closely with my colleague next door - she's awesome and has great ideas and she's so stinking organized it's sickening (but she's not me and I'm not her) - Is that the teacher I should be?

With all these questions and more circulating in my head it leads to . . . bog down.  I freeze, I end up tripping my way through lessons which are inconsistent & I'm sure frustrating for some students.  IDENTITY CRISIS!

Don't get me wrong . . . I truly enjoy teaching and the students are learning and are showing maturity and all that great stuff (as much as 9th graders can!).  But, I feel like I am short of my potential as a teacher.  But, I don't want to put all my time and effort into a certain teaching identity and find that it was a waste.  I want my identity to motivate me and my students.  I want to be energized.

And I want my students to enjoy math and to feel some ownership over their learning and progress as a math student.


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