Friday, June 5, 2015
6/5/15 - Who wants to read this blog, anyway?!
I realized I was procrastinating because I finally had to admit that I'm writing this blog for purely selfish reasons. (I apologize in advance for all the "I want" statements.) I want to reflect on this passed year and try to make sense of the whirlwind. I want to continue reflecting on my current practice. I want to share successes and failures with others in the hope that they will resonate with even one other person. I want to force myself to be accountable on a larger scale. But, possible the #1 reason I am writing this blog is to force myself to do something that makes me uncomfortable. Blogging is risky. Bloggers must be risk-takers. Putting your thoughts and ideas out online, knowing that the feedback you get could vary from stalker-like adoration to down right stalker, means a blogger must have thick skin and a pair of brass ones the size of cantaloupes.
This year has been a time of great reflection and growth for me. I was nominated, and was honored as, my districts 2015 Teacher of the Year, I challenged myself by accepting the position of Curriculum Specialist for my department and I took my first dive into social media with Twitter.
My journey to Teacher of the Year has been rather surreal. I never expected to be nominated by my site, much less actually win the districts nomination. At one point I seriously considered turning down the nomination because the prospect of interviewing and giving a speech made me want to throw up. After some serious self talk, and some shaming by my friends, I decided I couldn't tout the virtues of stepping out of your comfort zone to my students if I wasn't going to walk the walk. Now, I'm in competition with 48 other San Diego County teachers. I keep thinking its all a dream. Why would anyone think I was Teacher of the Year material? I just do things that are good for my students, like every other teacher, right?
As part of the application process, I wrote a series of essays reflecting on my personal journey to become a teacher, my teaching philosophy, what I felt the major issues in education were/are, how I mentor colleagues and several other topics that will probably make it into this blog eventually. The process of writing these reflections changed me. I was able to look back on everything that brought me to this point. I found myself reminiscing with colleagues about activities we did together. I started to be able to articulate what I thought being a good teacher was and what I wanted to do, in my own practice, to get there. It was invigorating. I would find myself bringing these topics up in conversation, much to the dismay of my non-teacher friends and family. I wanted to share how amazing this experience was for me and how I wanted that experience for every teacher. This blog is a means that end.
As for the second question, I realized more people then I thought want to hear what I have to say and that scares the crap out me sometimes. Regardless if no one reads this but me, I will be better for having done it.