First Quarter of Year Three

The quarter ends this week! I’m so excited for Fall Break. As we wrap up the quarter this week, I just wabt to take the time to reflect on what I have learned.

First, lesson planning comes easier. I have two years of lesson plans under my belt. Since a lot of my curriculum stays the same, a lot of my day to day stuff does too. I can look at the lesson and make tweaks as needed. Or if I really like that lesson, I can just leave it as is. It’s a lot less stressful than it was before.

Next, even though this is definitely an obvious statement, I’m reminded that every group of students is different. There are things that work and don’t work with these students. It’s not always good nor is it always bad.

I’m also learning about myself. I’m continuously learning about myself as a person and as an educator. Some days I actually feel like I have my feet under me. I don’t feel I’m exceptional by any means, but I’m at least starting to feel competent usually in a consistent manner.

I’m reminded that it’s okay to take a day off or two. I have days off for a reason. I shouldn’t keep working on days when I struggle to get out of bed. It’s okay to take off. It becomes a problem, however, when I’m taking off all the time. But a day to make sure I’m at my best is perfectly fine.

I’m also working on implementing systems that work for me. I found some ideas that have worked and I’m trying them. Most seem to be successful, and it’s good.

I still don’t take work home. That’s something I’ve always been good about, but I’m not changing that. This year, I have prep every day. So I’m getting stuff done. What doesn’t get done in my contracted hours stays until the next day. I’ve not fallen behind on lesson plans, I usually only have a few grades to put on when I finally get around to grading.

There is a support system around me that includes both teachers and non-teachers. This way I can vent to people who directly understand the problem. But I can also tell my stories to people who won’t try to add in their own stories. Having that support system around me helps a ton.

I take time for myself. Whether it’s a breath, an hour, or a day, it doesn’t always matter. I’m getting better at removing myself and taking some time to come back.

Most of my students are really doing well. A lot of times, I’ve noticed that students struggle at the beginning adjusting to a middle school schedule. They expect it to be a lot harder because they have to switch classes and don’t have the same teacher all day. But I’m seriously pleased that the vast majority of my students are doing well for me (not that it’s difficult to pass my class). Overall though, I’m proud of the work most of my students are accomplishing in class.

It’s been a long and eventful nine weeks, and I’m thankful to both have gone through it and be through it.

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