Conversation from last night:
Me – Honey, I feel like I am on autopilot and just coasting through this semester. Is that bad?
My husband – Sweetheart, that is because your mind is already in America.
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Ever since I got accepted in TFA (Teach for America), I have been working on pre-work and trying to soak in as much information as possible about my placement region. Unfortunately, that has led to a sort of nonchalant attitude toward teaching the students that I have right now. I feel like I have been on auto-pilot. This is not easy to admit. My students deserve to have a great teacher right now.
I guess I am in my comfort zone (more so than I was last year at this time). I am teaching classes that I have already taught and I have a good idea of projects and activities that work. My goal for the rest of the year is to take the stuff that I am learning and apply it to my classroom right now. I started looking at some online resources from Achievement First and they have some excellent ideas about how to keep students engaged (which is my biggest problem with the different levels I have in each class). I plan to read up on their strategies and start implementing them into my classes. I am also planning to re-read some books from college – The First Days of School and The Cornerstone for Teachers. Both are awesome books about classroom management.
I don’t think that I am doing a terrible job, but I am sticking to what I know works. So I just want to shake things up and have a more engaging class.
What are some ways that you shake up your instruction when it seems to become stagnant?