In a post from May 2009, I found this statement--
"I cannot just depend on the familiar. When I do that, my teaching becomes rote and stale. I need to seek challenges and different ways to communicate Bible truths. And choose new ways to involve and engage boys and girls in learning."
I think this sums up my hopes and philosophy for this blog and for my teaching. I don't want to become stale and rote. I want to learn more about myself and about teaching. I want the foundation (brick by brick) to become strong and secure. And now I'm not talking about kids' foundations but my own. I realize that I'm still forming my ideas and concepts. Some things that I felt were very important have become less so. Some ideas that I would have never thought of in the past are now becoming more and more a part of my practice.
Being open to something new is what I encourage in my kids. It's also something I want to encourage in myself. That way I know that I'm still learning, still growing, still adding bricks to my teaching foundation.
And I've learned to allow different perspectives to have room in my broader teaching vision. I have teaching friends that would never paint at the easel every week or offer a glue gun to a 5-year-old. That's fine. They are discovering their own teaching journeys. I know some teachers that pile on the glitter. It's great if they want to use it; I just choose other ways to make messes. I read or talk with teachers who have differing opinions on using food in the classroom or making crafts (more product-oriented art experiences). I certainly have my own opinions about these matters (especially glitter). But I keep my mind open to learning from others. Even if I don't do things in the same way, I can still learn from the overall process. After all, I can grow as a teacher even if I don't do the exact same things.
My one word this year is choose...and this is a place to do that. So I choose to approach teaching like I encourage my kids to approach learning. Open to new experiences. Trying out ideas. Experimenting as I go. And looking to others for inspiration.
Thanks for hearing/reading my ramble. I welcome your thoughts (or links to your thoughts) below. I promise to hear/read your words. After all, how can I keep learning if I don't choose to listen?