It’s almost the end of the school year for me! I am so glad to be done with this year. It has been one of my longest years of teaching (and I don’t have that many to go off of). I want to do a more complete review next week, but for this week, I have something different in mind.
I have learned a lot this year. Some of it has been good, and some of it has been bad. Some of it has been easy, and some of it has been hard. I learned a lot about myself, my students, and what it means to be a teacher. I recognize I still have things to learn and do, but I’m hopeful I made a lot of strides in the right direction this year.
One thing I’ve always believed (and continue to do so) is that teaching and learning is a cycle. I learn to help me understand. Then, I teach students so they can understand. As a result, it helps me learn new things, which then helps me teach better. And it’s not always content related either. In September I attended a conference about how to be a better teacher. It gave me a lot of good ideas that I was able to start implementing in my classroom. I also met with a mentor who was able to help me with some of my classroom management issues. As a result, I have ideas for next year that I am excited to start implementing. I also have ideas to continue things that I am doing this year. I really feel like I’m starting to get to be both a good and competent teacher.
I also got to teach some new content to my students. While I mostly have the content down, I got to talk about some new things, which was fun. As a result, I had to be able to learn and understand those things myself so that I could be a good content teacher for my students. I will gladly admit that I don’t know everything, and that’s okay.
I also learned a lot about my students. I learned who they were, what they liked, and what didn’t work. I really learned this year what it means to teach in this current world. There were some complex issues my students understood right away, and some (what I felt) simple stuff that took them a while to get. For example, one of my units is Modern Issues and Threats. We got to talk this year about what’s going on in Russia and Ukraine. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they actually understood about that. However, some of them did not know the names of the continents and the oceans. So it was really a gamble of what they knew versus what they did not know.
Finally, I learned an absolute ton about myself since August. I am always continuing self-improvement, and this year has taught me so much about who I am and who I want to be, both as a professional and as a person. I learned a lot of my limits this year, but I also learned about my capabilities. I’m creating schedules, time, and resources that work for me and all the situations I find myself in life. I’m continue working on managing my mental health. I’m finding a balance for myself. I’m understanding what I can do. I’m creating feasible ways to reach my goals that don’t rely on motivation. I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve learned so much about myself since August, and I am excited for what else I can and will do in the future.
Learning is not the only thing I’ve done this year. I’ve also been able to teach (obviously, as that is my profession). I’ve been implementing new techniques and activities. I see what I can do, and I know my teaching ability has improved. As a result, my classroom has improved, and I’m looking forward to making it an even more productive classroom environment for the next year and following ones too.
This concept has always been important to me. In fact, the image of this post is a tattoo on my leg of this very idea. In fact, the font is the same so it can be read from either direction. But even thought this tattoo is a little over two years old, it’s just as important now as it was then. I think it’s especially cool how i can learn and develop a concept even more as time goes on. To me, that’s one of the things that teaching is all about.
Again, learning and teaching is a cycle. I learn better so I can teach better. I teach better, and it helps me learn better. As I’m in my last few days of this year, I am looking back at all the things I have learned for myself. But I’m also realizing how my teaching has improved because of all those things. I’ve got some other plans for the summer that I’m hopeful will help me become a better teacher. I’m excited for what my teaching future will hold because of the things I learn. They really do influence each other. While some days it may definitely be hard, I’m actually feeling capable in what I’m doing. This year taught me a lot, and I learned many tough lessons. I’m not perfect, and that’s okay. But I know I can continue to improve my teaching by how much and what I learn. I’m genuinely excited for what the future may hold for me and the things that I can accomplish as a teacher.