If I'm being completely honest, I don't really like my job right now. I've even caught myself thinking and saying that I hate my job. Those of you who have been readers of my blog know how much I love teaching, so you know I'm practically in crisis mode as many of you are too, I'm sure.
I realize there are many things outside of my sphere of control, and I typically focus on those....because I haven't changed, the world has. Literally. Our worlds have been turned up-side-down. And if this stupid pandemic would have never happened, then I would still love my job. But it did happen. So now what?
On our last in-service day our administration asked us to meet with our departments and answer some simple questions. One question asked us to name an instructional change we would make to help close the learning gap. The pandemic cost our students about 3-4 years of instruction. That's the amazing part isn't it? We lost a year and a half of regular school, but my students are testing 3-4 years behind their grade level. Talk about being overwhelmed. The question they posed first pissed me off, then crushed me, then I put on my big girl pants and answered it.
I was upset because I feel the weight of the educational world on my shoulders, all us teachers do. I need to figure out a way to make up the learning loss, I need to meet the students' social/emotional needs (which I'm not trained to do), and I need to do all this while absenteeism is up due to quarantines and other illnesses.
Then I felt the weight of it all and felt hopeless. These are impossible tasks that I'm being asked to do. Usually I rise to a challenge, but this might be my breaking point.
Then I decided to adult. I'm not expected to fix everything. I'm being asked to move in the right direction. I'm being asked to focus. I'm being asked to work in my sphere of control.
A few days ago I started reading this book One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer. And it had me thinking....what is one small step that I could take in order to move forward with closing the learning gap? And I didn't have an answer. But I needed one. Mostly because I had to report back to my administration what my next steps were. So here is what I decided:
I realized that I do my best teaching when I blog. The reason behind this is because I need to have something to blog about. Plus writing forces me to organize my thoughts. It also allows me to connect with other educators who might be having the same issues that I'm having. My goal is to write at least one blog post per month.
I was invited to attend a Content Networking session at our IU. I'm going to ask to attend that in November.
Read a book. I am what I read. If I need ideas I should look to a good educational book. I decided on Jo Boaler's book "The Elephant in the Classroom".
It feels good to start moving in the right direction. It feels good to have it in writing. It feels good to have others know about my plans.