Seriously, I can’t believe it’s after July 4th already. Since my school year typically ends at the beginning of June and we start in the middle of August, July 4th is about the halfway point that starts the slippery slope to the school year.
This year I have SO much to look forward to…I am no longer the Math Specialist/Interventionist and will be teaching 7th grade this year with a fantastic team of teachers. I have never taught 7th grade before, but I did co-teach it a few years ago, so the content isn’t foreign to me. I took time the last few days of the school year to print new signs/posters for my classroom, get them laminated and cut so they are all ready to go for the new year. I then spent the first two days of my summer going through all my classroom stuff that was in my garage the last three years, tossing, keeping, donating and getting excited to start a new adventure in the fall. (WHY do teachers keep SO MUCH STUFF?!?!)
I gave myself June to relax, travel, focus on my grad classes (getting my Administration degree/certification) and “think” about school…but to try and not take much action. A lot of that was due to waiting patiently for the Illustrative Math Open Resources curriculum to come out…I am still waiting…but it will be out this month. I didn’t want to plan a bunch of stuff and then see the IM stuff and want to redo it all, so I decided to wait. I spent a lot of June sending myself links, saving things to look at later, creating posters (that’s another post), reading all the edu books I have picked up in the last few months and enjoying the fact that it was summer.
But now…it’s July and it’s time for me to hunker down and start figuring out what kind of classroom I want to have, what kind of teacher I want to be and what kind of difference I want to make. I love a new school year because it’s always a fresh start, I can change the things I didn’t like from previous years, try something new and raise the bar for my students. I think that’s something I love about being a teacher….I can always be better, do better and help my students be better…there isn’t an end to my learning and trying to be the best I can be for my students. That’s also what I like about teaching middle school, by 3rd period my lesson for the day is solid and all the errors or issues made earlier in the day are worked out and noted for the next year.
I am already a little overwhelmed with where to start and how I want to kick off my school year because I don’t want to mess it up and I do want my students to know from day 1 that we think, do, create and challenge ourselves in my classroom. I also want them to know I care and trust them to be good students. I have done Jo Boaler’s iMath to help with growth mindset in the past, but our 6th grade teachers have used it before, so I am trying to avoid hearing “we did this before”. There should be a new week of iMath out before the year starts, so that will be something I will definitely check out.
So I decided to take to Twitter, my favorite PLN, to find out how others start their school year. The responses have been awesome and helpful. Why do I forget about Sara VanDerWerf’s stuff??? I have now saved the links shared and will use it this year too.
— Jessica (@algebrainiac1) July 7, 2017
The best part about Twitter is being able to ask a question and get helpful responses within minutes AND get helpful responses over the course of time because people see the tweet at different times and will respond on their own time.
So…it’s official…I have started planning for the school year and I couldn’t be more excited!