02 January 2012

Starting a New Year and a New Semester

Today was the first day of a new semester for the students in our local public school district.  My two boys (5th and 3rd grades) ambled out the door this morning, weary from a short winter break filled with family, fun, and festivities.   As a teacher, there was always work do be done during holiday breaks, and still, in my current position, there was work to be done amid the flurry of fun and festivities.  I felt a twinge of sadness for not being in a classroom with a room full of students today because I love (and I mean it) love teaching and learning; one of my passions in education is learning and inspiring others to learn.  That's why I spent over a decade in the classroom working with students grades 5-12 teaching students English language arts, arts and humanities, and even a semester of earth science. 

 My current position in education is with a state department, so I have the opportunity to work with teachers, meet new people, and be a small part of some decisions made about public education in our state.  It's not all glorious, that's for sure.  In fact, I often have to be reminded by friends (including one who called me earlier today) about the importance of work beyond the classroom. 

A goal I set for myself this year was to start a blog on the art of teaching; this blog will encapsulate my musings, readings, and conversations about teaching and learning.  I felt inspired to start blogging on the first day of a new semester for a number of reasons:

1)  I decided to stop waiting for everything to be "perfect" before starting a blog on teaching and learning.  (After all-since I consider myself a lifelong learner, shouldn't this initial blog be more about my process of learning to muse?)

2)  I needed a place to reflect on what I missed about the first day of a new semester. (students excited, talkative, and full of energy from their break)

3)  I reflected on a recent twitter post by Kylene Beers who said “Teaching is not a cause; it is a calling. If you're entering the profession for 3 yrs of being a good volunteer, don't”.  (I like to think I care first about the calling to teach.)

4)  I needed to think about why what I do now matters.  (I've often been accused of taking my job too personally--probably true--but doing things right in public education matters to me on a professional and personal basis.)

So, if you return to my blog regularly, you will learn more about why lifelong learning and teaching are important to me personally and professionally, and you will hopefully feel inspired to make a difference in public education.

Happy New Year!