Tomorrow we begin another school year here in North Carolina. It’s hard to believe I’m going into my sixth year of teaching. At times it feels like I just started and I barely know anything and at other times I feel like I’ve been teaching longer. That feeling probably fluctuates a lot based on what I’m involved in at school and what’s going on in the world around me among other things. On the one hand it feels like I’m still just learning because I am – and I always should be. We all should. Things are changing so rapidly in education and with the addition of the desire to teach students great 21st century skills and how to approach and solve real world problems around the world there is more to learn. Add to that the changing legislation, new standards, and other current news involving education and it feels like you have to have a part time job to keep up with all of that too. On the other hand, it feels like it’s been a long time when I realize how much I’ve changed in just five years and when I see how much I’ve accumulated and created (yikes!). Either way, I’m about to start a new chapter in my teaching career that is entirely different from what I’ve been doing.
As we’ve gone through the workdays, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the PACE (related arts) staff at my new middle school as well as the administration. I’m really looking forward to working with them and they’ve made me feel like I’m part of a team. Being the “go to person” for integrating globalization in other subject areas, I don’t have regular classes and I don’t have a set schedule. I have spent the days looking at a general overview of the curriculum for middle school to pick out main ideas and concepts in each subject, creating a list of different global issues (poverty, economic stability, conflict, disease, human rights, etc.), trying to connect the issues to different grade levels/subjects and making up a few forms for teachers to use to better enable me to help them find resources and ideas for lessons. It’s been a different kind of start. I feel like I should be doing a whole lot more even though I am doing my job and working to figure out systems to do it well. It’s what every other teacher has been doing. It’s strange not setting up 3 bulletin boards, arranging desks, figuring out grouping, not placing Spanish posters around a classroom (though I am still using some for aesthetic and awesome reasons in my office), not immediately having lesson plans to write… And I really do miss the Unionville staff each day as I drive by. But this year will be something brand new and a learning experience. Over the first couple of weeks I’m sure we’ll get some sort of schedule worked out. I really am looking forward to it.
I’m kind of blazing a new trail and laying the groundwork for something my school and many others haven’t ever had.
Or I’m about to jump off the cliff into the unknown hoping we find something solid to stand on. It’s pretty neat.
Here’s to the start of a new school year.