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Saturday, October 17, 2015

To blog, or not to blog? That is the question.

Helloooooo Bloggy land. I'm still here. But I am seriously thinking of taking time off from here. Mostly because I have a big mouth. I have stated many times that I use blogging as a form of therapy. Because once something starts rattling around in my brain, it won't stop until I spit it out in some form. But recently I have found that sometimes when I'm sounding off it can be taken as personal by those around me. I can't afford that. First of all, I value the team that I am a part of. I love my district and I feel called by God to work in the school that I am in. I never wake up and say "I wish I were not here." I almost always feel that way in my teaching career. I don't know if it is denial or the practice of focusing on the positive or what. Because I've placed myself in some overwhelmingly impossible situations. Last year, for instance, I took on a HUGE undertaking trying to competently teach 5 grade levels while learning how to best teach in a PBL environment with a hostile team mate and not other support at all. Most of the time I loved it. Even though I spent WAY TOO MUCH time focused on planning and not enough time with my own family! But in retrospect I never want my job to be that hard and that draining again. It is amazing what we can do if we have a team on our side and what undetermined odds we can beat if we feel supported. Would I walk through fire for my Kinders? Probably. I love them like my own. And I would take on all odds for my own children. Would I have done this last year? Yeah. But did I feel beat up and drained most of the time? Yes. This year, my district has implemented a positive behavior system that some teachers are buying in to and some are not. But I bought in early. Like student teaching. Because I watched my mentor (who I frequently refer to as the "student-whisperer") influence the students and others around her with her focus on positivity. I watched her equip kids, care about them, and love them. When I had tough day in the classroom and I would ask for advice, more than once her response was, "How often did you catch kids being good? Can you catch more of the behaviors you want students to exhibit?" Oh. that. again. and again. Guess what? It works.

Great news! I feel like I work hard to focus on positive, positive, positive and build my kids up as often as I can realize that they are on track and doing what they should. The goal in our district is 3:1. Three positives for every one negative. Yesterday when my mentor/coach observed me, I had 20 positives to 7 negatives. I was really close to meeting that goal! It feels like I do about 10 positives to one negative, so its a little disheartening to realize I could easily up the positives, but it does feel good to realize I am really close to meeting the goal.

Reality check. I don't get super nervous when people come in to observe me (usually). But it does drain me. Yesterday morning I was a shining star. Yesterday afternoon I was like.... "what happened?!" But retrospect would say that I didn't give enough positives to my negatives. I probably had a 1:1 or 2:1 afternoon. When teachers (me) say that they are "being real" or not sugar-coating things, they (me) really just mean that it is hard work to keep focusing on the positive all the time and we are doing what comes more naturally. I have focused on positives for over 4 years now and it comes somewhat naturally, but it is not automatic. So if I'm tired or emotionally drained, life happens and I see it in my kiddos behavior. How eye-opening is that?!

Okay. Back to the blogging dilemma. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But look how how that stuff just tumbled out of my mouth. or my fingertips. Blogging is a good way for me to reflect. I also know that sharing my successes and failures is valuable for other teachers to read. I have found and fallen in love facebook for the classroom. I have created a secret facebook group for my parents this year. What do I love? I don't have to put pics into powerpoint cover faces and then post to the blog. I just quickly load pics and caption and GO! It is SO easy! I love it. But I have learned SO MUCH from reading blogs. So it is really right to take down my blog or take a lengthy break? Hmmmm....

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