Monday, July 14, 2014

preparing to start

The most successful people I know got that way by ignoring the race to find the elusive, 
there's-only-one-and-no-one-has-found-it right answer, and instead had the guts to look 
at the infinite landscape of choices and pick a better problem instead.

- Seth Godin

When I first started teaching, every new situation I encountered seemed like a monumental problem to be solved. I was exhausted all the time from solving problems, most of which stemmed from just not knowing enough. I struggled to keep up with the pace of planning, instruction, assessment, reflection, planning, instruction... and balance committees and parents and find time to learn more about the areas in which I needed further professional development. I didn't know how to pick the better problem, because I did think there was one right answer and I was sure to mess it up. I know now, of course, that this is not true. And that even the solution to a problem one time is not likely to fix the situation the next time. So it is more important to spend energy on the big picture. 

Summer break is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year and plan for the future year. For teachers unsure where they will be teaching in the fall, the summer, though, can also be a time of anxiety. One thing that you can consider doing is joining one of the free MOOC (massive open online course) for new teachers through the New Teacher Center. The New Teacher Center is offering MOOCs designed specifically for new elementary and secondary teachers to provide them will some tools to start the year successfully. Each 4 week course starts July 21st, with an expected work load of 2-4 hrs/week. Not too much time involved, it's free, and it might be a way to channel any nervous energy for new teachers.

If you decide to try it, stop back and comment on this post to let us know how it went!