Ok, here I go…. again

blaugust

My goal for Blaugust…. BLOG

This is the time of year I attempt to start again. I am sitting here in my house thinking about all of the things I need to do rather than sitting here and writing. However, I know that if I can commit to blogging at least occasionally this year then I will be a better teacher because of it.

I looked over my 2 (count them..2) posts from last year. One simply and quickly mentioned that my life turned upside down 2 years ago. TMC14 was my first TMC and I had so many great ideas to implement in my classroom. I started the year with an amazing amount of energy. Then….. August 8th, 2014 was a Friday and the 5th school day of the year; the end of my first week with students. I received a phone call as I was preparing for my day – I had to leave and get home right away. I can’t tell the entire story here because it is part of a larger story that is not mine to tell. However, the way it effected my job as a teacher is my story to tell. I am a different teacher than I was two years ago.

At the forefront of my mind I am always wondering what is happening in my students lives outside of school that may be effecting them in school. It is the paradigm that surrounds every interaction with my students. I make them work hard but I am extremely flexible with them. Yes, at times this flexibility creates more work for me. I’m okay with that. I have had students with eating disorders, depression, crippling anxiety, cutting disorders, etc. They also have major events that happen in their lives – parents divorce, family members or friends pass away, someone close to them is sick, etc. It is my job to teach them math but not regardless of what is happening outside of my four walls. I will create a safe place for them. If what they need is math to help take their mind off of something that is going on, great. If what they need is a place to eat lunch and decompress in quiet, great. If what they need is an extension on the upcoming project, great. If they are not healthy – mentally and physically – whether or not they know the quadratic formula is inconsequential.

The students who are in our high school classrooms right now were born the few years before and the few years after 9/11. They came into this world during a very tumultuous time in our country. I believe this collective anxiety has had an underlying effect on them. They have also completely grown up in the age of the internet and social media. My generation, the parents of these children, didn’t know how to deal with any of this either. (By the way, my children are this age so I include myself in this population) We didn’t have to grow up in a time when everything we did was broadcast for the world to see. We had toddlers and some random people flew some planes into a building and the world wasn’t safe.

I can only hope to create a safe place for them to simply be them.

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