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The Countdown Ends

August 10, 2011

Well tomorrow is the start to the new school year.  I find myself both excited and moderately full of dread.

Since this is my second year of teaching, I feel like I have a better grasp on what I’m doing.  I am excited to try all the new things that I have cooked up over the summer. I have had time to think of all of the problems that came up last year and figure out solutions to try and solve them.

Last year for me was a big experiment of trying to find out what worked.  Not all students learn in the same way and not all teachers teach in the same way.  Personally, I can’t stand to lecture.  I tried it for the first 3 weeks of last year and it was a nightmare.  I will never ever have a lecture class ever again!  I do some lessons with the whole class but these are more demonstrations or single lessons – not teaching entire chapters just by standing in front of the PowerPoint screen and talking to the kids.  In the first semester, I tried lecture, worksheets, class projects, class competitions, individuals teaching lessons, individual projects… you name it, I tried it.  So come Christmas, I thought back on first semester and figured out that the kids learned the most and I was the most successful with projects based learning.  I wrote a new project for them over Christmas break and had it ready come third quarter.  The first project worked beautifully! I had finally solved the big experiment!  So, I experimented second semester with perfecting these projects and did even more research over the summer.  This year I feel pumped and ready to make a difference in the way that my students learn and understand material.  I am excited to show them what an exciting and fun world science can be!

The dread comes from the end of freedom… I guess I feel like the students do in this sense.  The baby has to return to daycare and I have to return to the daily grind.  Trust me, I would much rather be home as a full time mom.  However, economics and our personal situation simply does not allow this…. Maybe next year!

As I start to get ready for tomorrow I realize that I spent entirely too much money on stuff for my classroom this year.  I swear, I can’t think of any other career where you spend so much money just to do your job or make your space prettier for the other people who use it.  It’s crazy!  I purchased a whole bunch of books for the students to read.  They can’t come to me and say that they have nothing to do!  I have also purchased multiple books for me to use in my own lesson creation and teaching.  These are resources for me to help me do my job better and more effectively so it’s money well spent.  But again, who does that!? I can’t think of any other profession where you have to keep buying new resources each year in order to keep up with the kids!  Maybe a book or resource here and there of course, but not multiple things.  I’m not on a soapbox or anything, I’m just trying to think of other professions that have specific stores full of stuff for the employees of that profession to buy.  There are multiple teacher supply stores.  Oh well, such is life.

Alright time for some 3D Game Lab.  It’s a way to teach students through the new and innovative new world of game-based learning.  Intrigued? I’ll talk about 3D Game Lab next time.  See ya soon!

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