Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hindsight #1

Oh, let's glean wisdom from reminiscing over the last year of my life--my first year of teaching. This could get pretty raw and real as I expose my flaws! I hope you're up for it. 

Ya know, I really believe that your 1st year of teaching is sort of a "right of passage" into the teacher world. Hazing--maybe that's too strong of a word! Ha. No matter how much help you get from the people around you, you've gotta walk through that year on your own. I'm glad I never have to do that 1st year again!

#1 Keep it simple.

Goodness, I think every teacher would give this as advice to any 1st timer.

Here's my typical pattern of preparation for class:

1. Topic: genetics
2. Search the entire WORLD for resources to use with my kids
3. Drown in resources and get so overwhelmed I can't function.

Fun, right?

I'm so thorough and want to make sure I'm utilizing the "best" resources and ways to teach my students; this actually ends up putting more strain on my work and makes things very complex.

And then you know what happens--everything spirals after that and before you know it I'm up late the night before planning tomorrow's lesson!

Which brings me to my next reflection...

#2 Keep the end in mind: The students need to learn!

The most important thing is that the students learn, understand, and comprehend the concepts of biology. Duh! 

If technology helps, and does not hinder, then use it.
If the chalkboard helps--then use that!
If singing a song (which I've done) helps, then I will DO it!

Bottom line: I've got to spend some time this summer simplifying, organizing, and simplifying! 

What did you learn in hindsight your 1st year of teaching? Or hindsight from this past year?

There's more reflection to come! :)


  1. Since teaching is my 3rd career, I've had to be willing to continue to learn, so it occurred to me that kids have to be willing to learn, too. I looked into brain-based research, starting with Eric Jensen's work, and then moved on from there. I came to acknowledge that kids aren't "vessels to be filled," but more individuals with more differences than similarities in how they learn.

    1. I love this advice. I've been looking for a place to begin studying brain-based research--I'm in LOVE with it! (well, obviously---I do teach science!) I've got a lot of ideas floating around in my head to differentiate between how my students learn. Thanks for the advice Mrs. C :)