Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I'm a fraud.

I've been writing this blog for over a year and I've almost never written about teaching, even though it's in the title of the blog. Things got funny this summer and I'm a month and a half into the school year at my new gig in the Bronx. I've learned a number of thing and since I haven't written in a while, I've decided to gather some thoughts about teaching here on the blog. After all, it was at Fordham where I learned that I needed to be a "reflective practitioner" (sounds fancy right? Look at me putting that Masters to work!) I love teaching. It's a challenging, oft-times under appreciated profession that is also extremely rewarding. You learn a lot when your a teacher, I'll try my best to share some of my lessons.

Lesson #1: Teaching is like Flying

It was today that I realized that teaching a class is like taking an hour long flight. If you don't get off the ground, you're going to have a tough time getting where you're going. I had my tough section for Social Studies today and it's usually a challenge to settle them down and get them on task for the opening activity ("Do Now" in teacher jargon). Well sure enough, they sat down quickly and basically got right to work today. The plane was about to take off when a goose went through the turbine.

Figuratively, of course.

One of my kids got up to "get my brush" from another student. Unfortunately it took about 2 minutes to do this, but the student did, in fact, get their brush. Distractions like this can happen any time which is why you must accept them and learn to deal with them properly. Although it was tough to get the class back on track and while I feel that I did, it was definitely not easy.

It was then I learned that I have to learn to be Sully.

Be prepared as you can be and hope that you can land the plane safely on the Hudson. I need to deal with these distractions immediately and get the class off the ground. Sometimes this is easier said than done, (depending on he severity of the distraction) but this is definitely an area in which I can improve. We'll see starting tomorrow.

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