17 October 2012

Internal Strife

Why do I question myself?

Today was one of those days that ended with a lot of personal reflection.  I heard a lot of comments and criticisms that disturbed me from both teachers and students.  After internalizing a little too much, the following questions kept popping up:

Why am I doing all of this?
Am I having the positive impact I think I am having?
Has my philosophy pendulum swung too far in the non-traditional direction?
Are my students going to be thoroughly prepared for future chemistry classes?
Is all of this in the best interest of my students?

Naturally I love to hear my students to say "I love B days because I get to come to chemistry." and "I was so excited over the summer when I saw 'Seigel' printed on my schedule."

But I still wonder if things wouldn't be easier if I just did it like everyone else.

Addendum:
So I wrote and published the above last night.  Then this morning, after I had arrived at school, I was thinking about it more and had an epiphany which totally changed my mood.  This morning I was kind of in a dark place and for the first time this year, not excited about school, which made me more upset.  So I said to myself, literally out loud in the parking lot, "why do I let others empty my bucket?"  And that was it.  I smiled, stood up straighter and had to start whistling a song that had been stuck in my head (I am terrible with music so don't ask me the name.  The tune is just very catchy).

I remembered that:

  • I have great kids this year.  We are comfortable with each other, laugh every class, and have no problem joking around.
  • I have tried completely non-traditional methods in my classroom and every one of them has been well received by the students, administration and parents.
  • The classroom is a warm, comfortable learning environment (as was expressed by my principal in my post-conference and in my observation) where every student, regardless of ability or desire, is welcomed.
  • In this space students are encouraged to Dare to Fail and given the support they need to do so in a collaborative working environment.
Why am I letting the petty stuff that others fling in my direction pull me down?

You want your class to only be for the elite? No problem. Send all the others my way.

In my our classroom, YOU can learn succeed
Simply Become Who You Are.