December 13, 2010

The Season for Giving and the Season for Thanks

Giving at work in more than one way.

#1: This year I have been trying to put myself out there more than I have the past couple of years to my co-workers.  This is not just in the way of being friendly or helpful, but going above and beyond in my efforts to share what I know and what I can do.  I'm an educational technology LOVER and I try to incorporate it in meaningful ways for my students, but it's easy for me, it's what I do.  My co-worker, Jolynn, on the other hand, is not so tech savvy, so I have been trying to reach across the pedagogical divide to help.  Here's what I have offered:

Online learning management is not necessarily new.  If you went to college at any level in the last 10 years or so you have seen it in one form or another.  However, it hasn't trickled down too quickly to the K-12 world, especially not in my neck of the woods, the San Diego Unified School District.  But, things changed in the last year, we have been inundated with technology.  Most teachers have no idea how to make it useful and meaningful, and that's how I wanted to help.  I've introduced her to Edmodo.com, then to Prezi, and to some other sites, while giving her help to troubleshoot the issues that she may have along the way.

She is also a person that I need to thank because she has given me a lot of insight into the things that I struggle in.  My classroom management has not been a nightmare, but it has been imperfect, to the point where my students cause a lot of time to be wasted.  It's hard to step back and assess your own work in this area because it makes you feel really bad about your performance.  But, she helped me to look at it differently and to simplify my approach.  Because of her I have managed to find realistic ways to change the processes in which I do things and I have been able to make a real difference in my students' performance.

#2 This semester my wife has been a student teacher.  Unfortunately, for her, she decided to be an English teacher, similar to me, but in many ways different.  She has been forced to deal with many similar trials and tribulations that I went through as a student teacher.  So far they have been unable to make any changes in teacher preparation to improve it to a point where you feel confident to enter a classroom.  Due to these limitations she has needed to lean on me quite a bit for support, advice, guidance, and resources.  It has been tough to take a step backward and start working on things like I did in the beginning (painful actually).  But, I know that without my help her student teaching may have been miserable, and possibly bordered on unsuccessful.  Of course I want my wife to succeed, but it makes me even more proud that I am here to help her in places where I had no one at those stages in my teacher preparation.

Thank you to her as well because she has been so supportive of me along the way.  When I struggled in my teacher preparation she was there for me.  Many times she had no idea how she could possibly help me, but that never stopped her from trying.  I know that my stress is hers, and vice versa, but the meaning is not lost because of that.  It only makes it that much more special.  I also love the fact that she has joined the profession in a way that shows how much she respects what we do and in a way that shows she respects her students and understands how important their success will be in the future.

1 comment:

Britta said...

Jeff...you have a delightful rapport with your students. As much as the content needs to be taught, children also need to be valued and appreciated for being humans. You do an excellent job of making your students feel heard and loved. Some people say our students MAY remember something we taught them...but they WILL remember how we made them feel.

I think you ROCK!