Friday, August 22, 2014

Who will meet THIS teacher?

This year is full of change.  New job. New principal. New classroom.New team. New technology.

 The classroom teachers are frantically getting ready for meet the teacher... placing the student name tags on the desks and ironing out last minute planning details for the first week... I am met with an array of emotions.

I will be honest, part of me feels freedom and relief. This summer was not full of team planning, binder prep, first week schedule, duty schedules, and team building. It was spent with my family. We traveled, we cuddled, we laughed, and we made memories.

Then there is the other part of me that stops to gaze into my old classroom and I am flooded with extreme emotions. This room, where I have taught for the last 6 years has been transformed into a superhero filled environment that I myself do not recognize. Classroom A in pod B120 no longer reads Ms. Ransom. It has been replaced by foreign signs and decor. Stepping into the room, a million memories hit me like a ton of bricks. Laughter, learning, funny mishaps... both personal and professional moments of the past 6 years.  When I first stepped into that room in August of 2008, I was starting over. The room offered new beginnings and an amazing journey that I could not foresee. The people have become my second family. Teachers have moved away, students have grown and left Christie...yet I have remained. In that room I got married, bought my first house, and became a mother. (yes, in that order) I think about the kids that have made me laugh and cry. Being a teacher in pod B120, classroom A, has been an amazing experience. One that has helped me grow both personally and as an educator. Stepping off of that blue carpet and back onto the cold white tile I am pulled back into the present reality. Tonight, meet the teacher. I wonder... will anyone be coming to meet ME?

I am now a Reading Specialist. I am going to be part of the 2nd grade team. (Which seems fitting since my first 3 years teaching were in 2nd grade.) I have been assigned to 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade. Some of the students will be new faces while a few others are students I have taught in the past. With the passing of each day my excitement over my new role grows. I will have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from so many more teachers in our building. While I have mixed feelings over not having a class to call my own, I am realizing the possibilities present within the school as a whole.

"Who can say if I have changed for the better? ...But because I knew you... I have been changed for good." ~Wicked

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

the feeling you get when...

Have you ever experienced the heart-pounding, world-stops-spinning, mouth-goes-dry-feeling when you lose your cell phone? A tingling panic spreads to your finger tips. You want to yell at everyone around you, " me look! The world must stop spinning until I find my phone!"
Then you think, why are all of these people still smiling and talking?
Don't they realize I have lost everything?!?
Ok, deep breath...I will call myself.
Wait, I can't call because I don't have a phone! THINK, where could it be?
Maybe I should text my team to see if they have seen it! ...Oh, right, no phone.
Calm down. Breathe. Let's check the calendar to see what is happening next and then I will know how long I have left to find my phone. Where is my calendar, oh...on my phone.

At this point you feel like giving up on the world and you decide to sit down. You feel something. Now, reach into your pocket and BAM...there is your phone. In the ONE pocket you didn't check. I mean seriously? You never use your left front pocket! Deep breath...all is right with the world.

This may or may not be something that has happened to me on more than a few (dozen) occasions.

The Christie Staff sat in meetings today learning about how our school is advancing in technology. I was surrounded by some people, like me, that embrace all aspects of technology and love learning the latest trends. Also in the room were those "old souls" that find technology to be annoying or frightening. You could see the discomfort as they squirmed in their seats when asked to tweet their thoughts about our new learning commons.

This got me what point does the divide begin? Are there any aspects of "technology" that I myself do not embrace?

I came to the conclusion that while I would rather type notes than hand write them, and while I would rather text than call...when it comes to READING I prefer books in print to ebooks. I have a Nook that I enjoy. I read blogs and research online throughout every day. However, at night when I lay down in bed there is something about picking up a print copy, opening to the page that you have bookmarked, and getting lost in a new world. I find myself turning the pages quickly to see what happens next and every once in a while, closing the book slightly to see how much progress I have made.

When I read a book in print I get lost for a lot longer than I do when reading on the Nook. I find books in print harder to put down. I often look up at the clock to find my goal bed time has passed long ago. How many times have I fallen asleep reading and woken up later with my book on my chest, still dreaming of the story I fell asleep reading? It's a very different story when I fall asleep reading my Nook...that actually can be quite painful!

I guess what I am trying to say is that while I embrace technology...I find myself holding on to my paperback tattered copy of Charlotte's Web and hoping that someday when my daughter grows old enough to read that classic story...that she will come running with her finger marking the end of a chapter exclaiming, "Mama, look how much I read tonight!"

You know what I am talking about. That old book. The one that smells good. The one you can open up and before you finish the first page you are taken back to a childhood story that feels more like an actual memory of times gone by than a story.