This upcoming fall, I will be entering my 4th year at my Oakland public high school. I am 2 weeks into summer, a summer I intentionally left free of responsibilities. During the latter months of the school year, opportunities surfaced left and right to work or to teach. I feel this is commonplace for any math teacher at a struggling district like Oakland, but I denied each and every opportunity. I needed time to relax.
Let me recap the previous seasons of my teacher life:
Spring 07: Last semester of collegeSummer 07: OTF Summer InstituteFall 07 to Spring 08: First Year of TeachingSummer 08: Algebra Academy Summer SchoolFall 08 to Spring 09: Second Year of TeachingSummer 09: Volunteering AbroadFall 09 to Spring 10: Third Year of Teaching
Since entering the teaching game, I've yet to allow myself proper time to digress. And I've felt the effects. You see it here yourself. No blog posts for months. In the classroom, I fell into the third year trap. Re-using stuff from last year over and over, b/c my teacher self slowly gave way more and more to my mid-20's self that starved to leave 'adult life.'
I disliked my newfound attitude. I hated it, in fact. I looked at the older folks of my department who seem so jaded to the job and, more importantly, to the children and wondered if maybe decades or so ago they came into the job looking so fresh and enthusiastic like me. I wondered if maybe one day I'd suffer the same fate and look just like them.
So I knew I needed this time. To regather myself and regain my teaching legs.
And, I'm happy to report, I'm getting them back. I'm dusting off the "education" folder of my google reader and am finding gems like this post (on homework) by @samjshah. I also see my own thoughts and passions on the teacher bloggotwittersphere put into words by the same author. And have those same thoughts and passions re-validated by a follow-up homework post by @i_speak_math.
Now, all I want is to throw myself back in. 4th year this fall, I no longer have the "well, I'm new to this" excuse I've had these past 3. It's time for the next step in my teach[r]evolution. Readers of this blog, thanks for sticking with us. I hope we can find ways to contribute to this community the same you've contributed to ours.