In the last 3 years I have felt revitalized in my teaching. Both in the passion I have for the profession and in the curriculum and content that I deliver daily. I have jumped in the Maker movement, loving the inquiry that my students are a part of. Working hard to be student-led, allowing for mistakes and leadership. I have tried to create an environment that allows students to grow, flourish and go higher then they thought possible.
It has not been easy.
There has been some pushback, from other teachers, administrators, Head Office, and parents. The pushback has been because it looks different. Because my classroom is not a traditional classroom and that worries people. Not because it is bad, not because the students aren't learning...because it is different from what they picture school to be, and they don't understand or value it.
I believe that there is great value in how I am teaching. I allow students to find their way to learning and discovery with what they make. We talk real-world problems, and are allowed to struggle and fail. Answers do not come easily, as I am not a sage on the stage, handing out information for the students to regurgitate on tests and projects.
Since June 2017, I have presented 19 times at 6 Conferences and M.Ed Courses. I have 2 more scheduled for the end of this month. I feel what I am doing has merit as there are many teachers and administrators who have heard me present and have asked me to present. Unfortunately most have been out of my region, which is historically resistant to change.
And so as I have parents questioning on social media the lack of homework I assign, or how can my students possibly learn without spelling tests and desks in rows, it chips away. There are teachers in my school who think I am a novelty act and shake their heads at what happens in my class.
And it is starting to drag me down.
But I won't give up. I will find time and ways to recharge. My family and fantastic PLN's give me energy and are always there to lift me up and catch me if I stumble. Just today I had to take a moment with a trusted colleague and talk about getting past negative parents. And the best pick me up came to me courtesy of Twitter. A reminder to be who I am, and that I am supported by amazing people.