S: I don’t have a pencil. T: Be a problem solver. S: She’s sitting too close to me. T: Be a problem solver. Etc. etc. etc.
While I first had to teach them strategies for dealing with these “small problems,” I’m hoping that this approach will help build the life-long traits of responsibility and perseverance. I realize now that DTR takes a similar approach. Through coursework, residency, and observations, they helped us build our toolkit of best practices. Now, with toolkit in hand, they’ve sent me out to be a problem solver in my own classroom.
There is nothing straightforward about teaching. As a first year teacher, I’m constantly trying new things to figure out what works and what doesn’t for this particular group of students. Some things that worked last year have pretty much flopped. Other strategies have engaged the students amazingly. I work hard to change what’s not working and keep what is. Constantly refining my practice has helped create a path towards academic and social growth.
I’m starting to see the rewards of our work, from students using new vocabulary to participating more during class discussions. There is nothing easy about my first year of teaching, but I feel prepared to help students to grow to their fullest potentials