Last year, the biggest change for me was not SBG, but teaching with the SMART Board. SBG changed how I assess, but working with the SMART Board was a big change in the way I teach students. I was excited about having the SMART Board and I truly like teaching with it. I wanted to make the change in my classroom, but when it came down to actually starting and making the change, I froze up. I could not get myself started with it.
This year, I want to change what I do in my classroom. Like last year, a pretty big change in the way I teach students. Also like last year, something I am excited about (well, maybe not as excited as last year). But now that it is time to do the actual, physical planning, I can't do it. I'm scared and nervous. I've never done anything like this before. How are my students going to react? They are not accustomed to being pushed mathematically. How do I sell to my students that this will be good for them in the long run? 50% of our students receive a free or reduced lunch. Most of our students appear to come from homes where education is not highly valued. We have some kids who are transient. Some days I wonder if they really want something better and are willing to work for it, or if they will just settle for whatever is handed to them. With this kind of a population, how do you convey that this is a ticket to some better possibilities for them?
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And, since I am being completely honest (and pretty vulnerable) at the moment, there is a part of me that is scared of falling completely on my back like Charlie Brown does when he goes to kick the football. I am terrified that I am going to try these new to me things and they not only don't work, but it completely blows up in my face. There. I have gone and said it. I am starting my 20th year of teaching and I am afraid it's going to crash and burn majorly.
Now, in all fairness, I also know that things probably won't completely and utterly fail. I have taught long enough to know that there are lessons that go well and others that don't go well, but nothing completely fails. And, having attended various workshops and presentations, most recently in Orlando, I know that what I am looking to do this school year will work. It may take me a while to figure out how to make it work best in my classroom, but it will work. Like before, I just need to get off my butt and start planning. I cannot really put it off much longer anyway. Kids come in 6 days, whether I'm ready or not. I'd rather be ready. Guess I better get started.