This school year is quickly winding down. As an 8th grade teacher at NCS, where 8th graders are the oldest in the school, there are lots of things to look forward to. Sometimes before we look to the future, it important to look to the past and see how you have grown.
This year has been a very pivotal year in my career, I have had some decision this year that have changed my teaching style, and I have had great opportunities come my way. They have sayings that life is “all about taking chances!”, or “you have to take advantages when they come your way.” These two cliches could be the summary of my year professionally.
The “chance” I took this year was going to a classroom with HW “optional.” I did only a moderate amount of research about the idea, but I also knew that with 80 minutes of class daily, I was afforded an opportunity a lot of people wouldn’t have. This was probably one of the best decisions I have made in my career. I think my students have had a more enjoyable experience in my class, and not having to check HW daily eliminated a lot of stress for me. It was a “chance” and I am very happy I took it.
The “opportunity” from this year was being invited to be part of the first Desmos Fellowship. Before the trip Desmos was just a cool tool I used in my classroom. Going to San Fran to meet the Desmos Team, and more importantly meet and work with the other Fellows has really inspired me to be a better math teacher. I now look deeper into my lessons and try to create discourse in the classroom. Also, I have started booking and applying for opportunities to present Desmos to school for professional development.
As the summer quickly approaches I am wondering about what “chances” I might take professionally next school year, and I am also optimistic about what other “opportunities” might come my way. I can’t believe I have completed my 18th year of teaching. I remember when I was in high school, my mom told me that “every year of your life will go a little faster than the previous”. She was right! This year flew by! Excited for the summer, and to see what the next school year has to bring!