Becoming a father has made me a softy.
I mean, I was a crier even before I had kids, but now?
I was choking up watching a Subaru commercial last night.
A Subaru commercial?! Seriously?
I know, I know.
My man point stock is crashing with every key stroke,
but before you condemn my…
Hello hello! And happy halloween!
I was reminded that I have not touched this blog for so long…guess I’ve been really busy. But I’ve decided today to come back and use this as a way to store some reminders for myself about my experiences.
Oh, but first, a quick photo of my halloween costume from this weekend. sigh…
Get it? Hawaiian punch.
Well first off, I sure hope everyone is safe from Hurricane Sandy…it’s all I’ve been tracking these days, and I see that there have been some fatalities, fires, flooding, power-outages…it sure has caused some damage. Fortunately for me, I didn’t even lose power…just some water bubbling in through the window and a little building shaking, but nothing serious. I’m praying for a safe recovery for the East Coast! I was also reminded that while we complain about lack of transit and loss of electricity, there were many more casualties in Haiti and with hundreds of thousands left homeless. We should call ourselves blessed for being able to prepare ourselves!
Well…on a completely different note, I want to use this blog as a way to document my growth as a first-year teacher. The past 2 months have already been a whirlwind of emotions…tons of tears, for sure. But also tons of learning moments. I was just thinking about how even with what I learned so far, I wish I could go back to September and start over again. I guess that’s what experience is — learning so I can do better next year. But damnit, why can’t I start THIS year over? Now I understand why they say that experience is the best teacher. All of my years of teacher preparation could not have prepared me as well as just 2 months of experience.
My goodness, where do I even begin? Well maybe I can start off with some of the tips that I have learned and may need to remind myself, should I ever forget or get lazy…
- Prepare a weekly schedule so I know the academic, behavioral, and community goals that our class is headed toward.
- Time management — set my watch 5 minutes ahead to make sure I get to places on time! That is a big problem I’m trying to resolve for our class…
- Plan the details in my lessons planning! What materials will they need? Is it ready? How will they get the materials? What does the set-up/clean-up look like? What key words will I use to make sure they’ve got it in their heads? (Stick to ~3 key words!)
- Don’t lecture, don’t preach. Give clear, short, explicit instructions. Demonstrate.
- Practice routines until they have it down. Don’t settle for less, don’t get frustrated. Just repeat until they get it. This is a big regret—management is still a huge issue and I wish I had really repeated this practice in the beginning of the year, because it’s still taking up too much time now…
- Be flexible, but be consistent. Change management plans as needed, but be consistent with the follow-through. I feel like this is advice I hear from every teacher and all the time. It’s a completely different matter when you’re actually in charge - I have been finding it so hard to be consistent. But I’m working on it. And consequences need to be expected as a result of student choices, not based on me. That’s why consistency is important - so it is connected to the student, not to the teacher.
- Every day, reflect on what you could do better tomorrow. And cling on to even that one thing that went right today…no matter how minute it may be.
Um. That was a very bad post. I have too many thoughts, scattered all over the place. Maybe I will work on finding a better way to organize my thoughts. I guess that’s another new thing I’m learning as a teacher and something I’m teaching my students — it’s always okay to go back and revise! So hopefully I can revise this sometime in the future, when I feel like I have reflected more on my own thoughts and practices. At least I have something down.
And just a couple of photos to prove that I am a first grade teacher.
“I was with my friend. I fell and had a hole in my head.”
A note from a student that really made my day.
“Dear Miss Huhr, Thank you for everything. I love you.”
Um..I apologize. This should have been better. Next time! Stay safe, friends.
I feel kind of geeky saying this, but I have been learning a lot from my classes this semester. I feel like although they are meant to change my perspective, I’m never supposed to let on when it actually has — well, here I am, breaking that. Knowledge is power!!
I think that one of my elective classes on differentiating instruction has been a real eye-opener. It has a lot to do with special education, the history of special education and disabilities, and the semester has been about reconstructing my understanding of what inclusion really means, not just as a label slapped on a co-taught classroom, but as a real, living, breathing concept.
One of the discussions from class has been resonating and reverberating in my mind, especially as I step out into the world with unveiled eyes. We live in a predominantly ableist society. ABLEISM: discrimination against people with disabilities, in favor of non-disabled people. It shows in how we see disability as a deficit, in how we see people with disabilities as less valuable, in how there is a general lack of awareness about or presence of disabilities in our society. I think at this point in time, unless you know someone or are someone with a disability, it is quite easy to ignore the issue of disability altogether, compared to sexuality or gender or race or ethnicity.
But I think I’ve been challenged to be more aware and to make others more aware of our ableism, of our discrimination. Even the term “disability” connotes a disadvantage (maybe just to me?), wherein the root of the problem lies in the individual with it, rather than in the world around him/her. That’s the same problem in education — we see students with disabilities as the problem, as the ones who need “modifications” to the standard curriculum and methods. It has taken a long, long time for me to finally begin to question this traditional system, and to see that in fact, it is education that has failed the individual rather than the other way around.
I wonder when we will all begin to see this as true. All students have different needs; why are we singling out disability as the most important —or perhaps, the most wearisome & troublesome — difference that we feel must be accommodated into the “normal” curriculum?
This same kind of deficit perspective of disabilities shows up in our everyday language. We know that it is wrong to use racial slurs or derogatory statements like “that’s gay” (or at least, I hope we know that by now…) But what about “that’s retarded” or “that’s lame”? I admit that even I use “lame” to mean “pathetic” — but do we realize that when we call that t-shirt lame, we imply that people who are unable to walk are pathetic? Of course that’s not what we mean, but maybe it’s a good thing to learn about the history and connotation that is connected behind the words we use.
I know that this is so preachy in one of those high-horse kind of ways, but I really honestly don’t mean for it to be. I think the reason why I feel so passionate about this — and the reason why you should too — is because of the value of humanity. If you believe that a human soul is precious, then maybe you are willing to challenge your own normalcy, to challenge what we view as natural, knowing that our history is embedded with a culture of ableism so that we only view it as ordinary; maybe we can be willing to think critically about the words we use, what we really mean when we say it, and why we liken disabilities to deficits and worthlessness. It’s how we grew up; it’s all we know. But there is always time to change, to grow, to learn, and to value difference.
I feel like I need to be the first to admit that I am still navigating this world and my words. I admit that I misuse terms, that I unknowingly put down others, and that I am so incorrect in so many ways. But I hope that we can be a learning community of people, and that we can forgive each other for our ignorance, and teach each other of our views in respectful ways, and to make wise choices for the sake of seeing others with high esteem.
Thank you, my sermon is complete. For now. :D
There are two (at the very least) sides to every story……maybe we’ve only heard OUR side. Not that I know much about this at all, but I guess this made me realize that I need to be much more aware! (P.S. click the link to watch the video)
i love this blog. funny how much they all resonate, but at least that assures me that i’m not alone on these issues. and it all sounds so much better when i believe it’s coming from matt damon and ryan gosling…hey dlim, make me one of these with your face on it, will ya? :)
this crazy lady is sleeping faceplanted in my lap…adorbs.
p.s. i don’t want to studyyyyy -_____-;;
I found you naked
I found you lying there in blood
Your mother left you,
Your father threw you out unloved
I clothed your body
I washed the blood and earth from your hair.
I gave you jewelry
I gave you everything I had
I gave My heart
My heart, My love
I gave my heart,
My heart, My love
You became mine
You were a stunning Bride
The world, they saw you
And how you loved their eyes, My Bride
You broke My heart
My heart, My love
You broke My heart
My heart, My love.
You sold your body;
Exposed to all, My love
You slept with strangers
You gave them everything we had
Come back, My love
My love, come back.
Come back, My love.
My love, come back.
Check out Ezekiel 16, too: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+16&version=NIV
Brilliant, haunting, beautiful, humbling song.