Friday, April 17, 2015

Teaching is about the heart. It's always been about the heart.

As I map out my final 29 days with students, I'm starting to reflect on the school year. I'm really excited about the last part of our year. We're going to be diving into Independent Driven Learning projects. Students will get some suggestions, but they will ultimately be able to direct their learning.

This gives you an idea of what I will be sharing to jump start ideas...

Click HERE to view Google Presentation

Being my first year in 8th grade, I knew that I had to give myself a little of a break with content. I worked my butt off to learn the material and present it in a way that engaged students and made them excited to learn in science. I had some hits and misses. Looking back at the year, I'm excited by the work that both my students and I did. It's been exhausting. I've been frustrated. And, more times than I'm proud to say, I've broken down to my husband because I haven't felt the success that I normally feel.

That's all good though. Struggle, failure, success, challenges...they all bring growth. And, that's what I thought this year was all about for me. Growth.

I think a huge part of it is growth...and then, there is another side. My students.

Boy. I have just come to adore these kids. These 8th graders have worked their way into my heart. I get excited to see them each morning. I feel such pride when they get excited about learning. I enjoy the high fives in the hallway and when they burst into song because of a trigger phrase! And, those who know me best know that touch and song make me very uncomfortable. 

I do. I absolutely enjoy these students.

The best part is that I have the amazing opportunity to rediscover these children. I have a unique opportunity with being their 5th and 8th grade teacher. I remember our time together in 5th grade. I remember the goofy songs, "Onward to the Edge". And, who could forget our Skype with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Our building projects were amazing. Our flash mob was legendary. Our time was so meaningful.

These students remind me that teaching is about the heart. How we impact each other and how we explore ideas and questions together are so much more powerful than anything else.

It's always been about the heart.
And, when the days get cluttered with PARCC assessments and state mandated tests, I have to remember that. The human experience is much too precious to waste on experiences that do not highlight that!

Now...if I could only get Neil deGrasse Tyson to do a follow up Skype with these students to see how much they've grown and learned...and the curiosity that has built with his influence too!

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