But I'm smack dab in the middle of a school year. If I start thinking back to February or March of 2007, it's sooo long ago. Those kids in that class are no longer a close part of my life. How can I think about the year of 2007 as a separate entity? It has two distinct and incomplete parts: the class of 2006-07, and the class of 2007-08.
It is this annual cycle of the classroom teacher. It starts in August and ends in June. There is a definite rhythm and pacing to a year - starting up, getting to know you, building skills, building relationships, more, more, more, and then letting go. I doubt there are many professions with such a cycle, especially where you start all over every year.
It's like a living, breathing organism. You get to "be" a part of that special organism for ten months, then shed its skin (which takes a part of you with it every time), and then take a deep breath and do it all over again.
But I love it. I love the age I teach (8/9 year olds, third grade), and I love the process.
There is much handwringing going on in some edtech blogs as the year "ends". Much ado about the state of schools, the educational system, what's wrong with teachers, why teach anymore, etc. Here are three noteworthy ones, especially because of the comments:
- Parable 2.0 from Graham Wegner
- Some New Years’ Dreaming from Will Richardson
- On Leaving Teaching to Become a Teacher from Clay Burell
I thought about adding my 2 cents on all of them, but I ran out of gas. I am outraged at many of the same things these guys talk about. But this is what keeps me going:
The 9:00 bell. That's when the kids come in the door. Thank goodness for the kids. There, I've said it again.
Yes, it kills me when I see dysfunction in my educational system. Yes, it breaks my heart when I see 4th and 5th graders not using, and losing, the incredible tech skills they had in my classroom. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating when absolutely nothing I have tried in over a decade of encouraging technology use with my colleagues has made a bit of difference.
But that 9:00 bell keeps ringing. For one year my kids and I will have an incredible experience. Nobody can take that away from us, and my kids will remember.
So, Happy Mid Year to all you classroom teachers out there, especially Clarence, Doug, Brian, and Sarah. Enjoy the rest of it!