Colleen Rose recently wrote a blog post entitled ‘Draw a Line for Me’ that captured my attention and intrigued me. I took up Colleen’s challenge to draw a line for her, a simple enough task, but one that proved more difficult than I had anticipated. I loved the task as it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own evolution as a teacher. Looking back helps us to get a clearer vision of how we want to move forward. Here’s my Learning Line:
Many thoughts and questions came to mind as a was creating my line:
Although my experience as a supply teacher was difficult and daunting, I’m glad I had the opportunity to teach in so many different classes and schools. I learned so much from these years.
If I had the same opportunities to connect and learn as I do today, how would my beginning years of a supply teacher been different?
How am I helping the supply (occasional) teachers who work within our schools?
My first year of teaching was the most trying of my life, but I wouldn’t give that year back for anything. It made every year after that seem “easy”.
If I had the same resources, connections, tools and support then that I do now, would the year still have been as challenging?
How am I reaching out to teachers new to teaching?
What was the biggest mistake I made early in my teaching career?
In focusing so much on the academics, the curriculum, the text and “test” did I ever lose sight of what was most important?
What do my students who are now thirty years old remember most about grade6?
Everyone hits a plateau in their career. Do they know they have actually plateaued or does that only come with hindsight?
During the least productive time in my teaching career I thought I was actually the most effective.
What pushed me beyond my plateau? Having a child? The fear of falling behind? The belief that a principal had in me? The support and patience of a principal? My wife?
Status quo or change? Status quo is easy…change is healthy.
With all the available resources, sharing of ideas, opportunities to learn and connect there is no reason why beginning teachers shouldn’t quickly find themselves at this stage on their own learning journey.
This stage of my career feels right… it feels good. I am learning more now than I have ever learned in my life.
Thanks Colleen for the opportunity to reflect, I believe it’s the most important part of learning!