Personal Reflections

First Year Reflections (From the depths of my drafts)

I meant to post this over a year ago, but I guess it is better late than never.  It is a bit ironic as this post will be coming at the end of my second year.  However, this is the draft that I did not publish at the end of my first year.  It has been a great reminder to read this draft agin as my second year comes to a close.  I plan to reflect on the second year in the coming weeks.

My first week of summer is coming to a close.  For me it is not the first week of summer but the first week without my students.  It has been hard to not see them and hear about what is going on in their lives.  I miss seeing them and all of their craziness.  Yes there were times where they almost drove me insane (you can ask them), but I would not trade a single moment that we shared together this year.  I have learned so much this year.  I have learned more from my students than I taught them.  They will ALWAYS be my students.  Nothing can change that and nothing will change that.  They will also be my first classes and they will hold a special place in my heart.

I could write about all of the mistakes I have made in my first year of teaching and the many things that I wish I had done differently.  However, I believe that everything this year will continue to help me and hopefully my students grow in the years to come.  I could write pages about this first year, my experiences, my failures, my success, and even more about my students.  Words can not describe how much I miss them, care for them, and want the best for them.  I can’t wait to see them at the beginning of next year and have time to catch up and hear all that is going on in their lives.

This first year has truly be fantastic and I want to thank my students for all of their kindness, laughter, patience, joy, and honesty! Thank you for:

  • Forgiving me when I made a mistake
  • Laughing at my awful jokes
  • Helping me with my spelling
  • Writing me little notes (I read them all, and I have pictures of my whiteboards)
  • Letting me try new things
    • Standards Based Grading
    • Trello
    • Canvas
    • Whiteboard Desks
    • iPad apps like crazy
    • weird analogies
    • Videos
    • Math debates
  • Brightening my day with your stories
  • Working together
  • Giving me honest feedback
  • and more

I do love math and my students may think I am weird because of my love for math.  I love my students more than I love math.  It is not even a competition.  The students are the reason why I teach and am so excited about next year and have a bittersweet feeling about this first year.  My students have taught me so much in this first year:

  • It’s OK
  • You can make mistakes
  • You can always improve
  • The little things matter
  • They love little notes, whether sticky notes or the cards I wrote them
  • They want/need someone to believe in them
  • They want/need someone to motivate them
  • Sometimes we need to have “real life” talks
  • There is so much more the life than the walls to the school building
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