On track

A couple of years ago,  I shared a post titled Not feeling it today. It was a response to the highs and lows experienced in my life as an educator.  The post’s banner image captured a lighthearted take on our profession in a simple sentence. It read,

“Students: If you ever want to know what a teacher’s mind feels like, imagine a web browser with 2,789 tabs open all the time.”- via Buzzfeed 

Laugh it off

Each day comes with its own set of open tabs that seem like a wave of ups and downs. On the upside, I witness students working hard, asking questions, and discovering their talents. On the downside, the lows come in the form of students struggling with anxiety, issues of adolescence rearing their heads, and even some perceived/learned hopelessness about the future. Each time I look at this meme, the irony of it’s humour helps lighten my mood when I need it most coping with everything that occupies the physical and mental space of my own practice. We all need to laugh. Laughter is an effective stress reliever.

It seemed like June was so far away. I started hitting my stride around March Break, and suddenly it’s the last week of May. Instead of coasting to the finish line, I find myself running the other way after looking at my Teacher’s To Do List.

How are you coping?

I’m struggling, straight up.  The frequent visits to the coffee shop are getting expensive. As this month winds down, I’m nervous that the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train pulling boxcar after boxcar of assessment, reporting, and end of year activities. Yet, here I am speeding down the track towards it.

A similar sentiment gets shared when speaking with colleagues too. The hard part is not running out of steam.

Have you noticed that students are feeling it too? I’m finding this a great time to encourage collaborative work in remaining subject areas. Free time is allotted to Maker Space, Inquiry, and Genius Hour projects. We will also be creating a Year Map to add a visual note to their past 10 months in the classroom.

In all of this many of us will be compiling assessment data. Whether, it is on sticky notes, digital, or mark books, our students will be given a snapshot of their accomplishments.

Kind words

For me, solace is found in reflecting over student growth throughout the year. I see the final report card as a treasure hunt that gets a new map attached to continue the adventure next year. Each year, our learners show so much growth and potential.  As we report en masse these next weeks, take time look back at all of the amazing things that were accomplished in your classroom. Celebrate the highs, lows, bizarre, unexpected, and growth in yourself and your students. I have been fortunate to witness incredible growth in the curriculum subjects by my students this year, but it pales in comparison to the growth they have made as citizens and community. I hope you can celebrate this with your students too.

 

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Updated: May 31, 2017 — 12:39 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

Currently on my Nth iteration of life. Grade 6 lead learner at Beckett Farm PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, divergent, and brain based learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement and 1 of 90 TED Ed Innovative Educators. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at https://escheweducationalist.wordpress.com/

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