Welcome to what I’m calling my second season of My Best Lesson: Social Studies! I haven’t recorded an episode in about a month and the reason is simple–I’ve been in survival mode! This is my first year back in the classroom since 2018-19 and, as I’ve been told time and time again the past few years, this teaching thing during a pandemic is hard! I’d love to say that I hit the ground running like I had been teaching non-stop–I’d also like to say I hit the Power Ball and I’m now a multimillionaire and both statements would be equally false!
Now that I’m a month into teaching again I’m finally starting to feel like I have some time to breath again. In fact, I had all of my grading done before 8:00 AM on Saturday this weekend–I was NEVER that efficient when it came to grading before my two years as TOSA. My goal moving forward will be to produce a podcast every other week–sometimes they will be interviews, and other times they will be reflections.
- What I Missed: Being back in the classroom has reminded me just how much I enjoy the buzz and excitement of an 8th grade classroom. The firs few days back in the room seemed to move at a breakneck with almost no time to sit, breathe or even think. As I settle back into the schedule of teaching, I absolutely love how active my days are and the schedule I’ve started to develop with my planning period.
- What I Learned: As a TOSA the past two years I’ve been watching what teachers have been doing and I kept thinking how lucky I was that my job was to support them, and not BE them. I thought I knew how hard teaching was during the pandemic–I didn’t! My goodness this is mentally and physically exhausting! Now, more than ever, it’s so important for us to be realistic with our expectations of ourselves and our students and to make sure we are taking care of ourselves.
- What I’m Going to Try: My goal over the next few weeks is to remember what’s really important–connecting with my students! I spent a good deal of time trying to establish and build relationships with my students during the first two weeks, and then I kind of stopped. I want to get back to being intentional about building those relationships because they are critical (now more than ever). So the next few weeks I’m trying to remember some of these key things:
- James Sturtevant’s reminders that connection is key & to be patient and persistent.
- Ryan Holiday’s words–“we have their hearts” from the Daily Dad podcast.
- The image of the last “normal” year for these kids floating around social media–they need us