Hard to believe the start of another school year (both of the grad school and elementary persuasion) is here. When I left my blog in April, I had visions of grandeur of blogs I would write over the summer, professional development books I would read, and the growth I would make as a teacher. In reality, I attended a conference, read some professional books, and… didn’t blog about any of it.
Which brings us to here, currently, the night of the first day of a new school year. This school year, I will be sporadically posting updates on my blog for my UNC classes, with perhaps a few personal ones thrown in for good measure. We can use our blogs to track progress and developments throughout our course, but I also hope to have some additional posts and insights included along the way… time will tell.
The title of this particular blog post is “#knowledgeis…” as a follow up to a Twitter chat (hence the hashtag) I was unable to participate in due to attending Open House at my school. I went back and reread the transcript from the discussion and really enjoyed seeing what other members of my cohort had to say about knowledge. As per usual, several good points were made, and I found myself nodding along as I read. Originally, I was planning to highlight some of the specific quotes / tweets and offer my own thoughts but, after today, that path has changed.
Today began my fourth year of teaching and my third year at my current school. This year I’ll be teaching Reading and Social Studies to two groups of third grade students as my school progresses towards a blocking model. I’m going to be honest and say that today was not my greatest first day back. That’s not to say that all of my days this year won’t be the greatest, but I think it’s important to be honest as a teacher about both good days and bad days, to learn from the highs and the lows. Today was a challenge as I had several talkative students, a few disruptions, and a transportation mix-up at the end of the day that served as the icing on the cake. Yet, as I thought back on the events of the day, I was struck with how differently I approached them now in my fourth year of teaching as compared to my first year. I still woke up with the same butterflies in my stomach, but how I handled each situation was drastically different – which brings me to my point about knowledge as a teacher.
Over the past three years, I have had experiences that have shaped me as a person and an educator. Through those experiences, I have developed my knowledge about students, discipline, parents, and a plethora of other topics. Though I have gained knowledge through these experiences, I would also venture to say that my definition of knowledge as a teacher is constantly growing and changing. In other professions and hobbies, there are levels and promotions you can achieve over time; teaching starts fresh every August – clean slate.
I point this out to say that there are many important definitions and understandings of knowledge but, when it comes to teaching, I don’t think you’ll truly ever have it all figured out. No matter the amount of years under your belt or the number of students that have walked through your door, there will always be curveballs in teaching, just as there will always be new ways to grow your knowledge. While this may seem like a simplistic thought process, I felt much better reminding myself of how much I’ve grown my knowledge over the past few years.
If you were to ask me to define what #knowledgeis, I would simply tell you that, with regards to teaching, the answer is that, if anything, it’s ever-changing.
So, where am I now? I am…
- on the cusp of starting a new round of grad school courses
- (and very excited to see where this semester takes me!)
- working with a very different group of students than last year
- (hello, chatty class!)
- beginning my journey with block teaching, focusing on literacy and social studies
- (no pressure, right?)
- excited, tired, slightly overwhelmed, and hopeful
- (that alarm sure does come early, huh?)
Be sure to check back in for updates and musings – if today is any indication, it’s going to be a very interesting year 🙂