Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Teaching Now

Warning: Reflection ahead. Thoughts may be smaller (or larger) than they appear.

I love teaching. I love watching boys and girls think and play and explore. I enjoy talking with them and just listening to them. But lately I'm wondering about my teaching.

I like to find different types of materials. I like trying new things. But lately it seems that I've just been sticking with "regular" stuff and not bringing lots of different new things into the classroom.

In my church class, things have changed over the past few years. A couple of years ago, we had about 10 or so children coming regularly. This group liked to do different things and were interested in anything new or different that appeared in our room.

Last year we had about 5 or so children who came regularly. This group liked to play and explore. They REALLY liked blocks and building. Oh, and cars. They liked cars. They didn't do much art. They would play games or work puzzles from time to time - and liked new games when I brought them in. They liked new ideas...sometimes. And other times they ignored what I had put out and built towers to knock down or jump over.

This year we have fewer than 5 children who come regularly. And all of those haven't been there on the same week - we have just a portion each time. This group likes using the dishes and setting the table and feeding the dolls. They enjoy blocks or a game or art from time to time. But I'm still learning about them and their interests.

I've been judging my teaching. I don't bring a lot of extra stuff to the room. We haven't done anything really "cool" or different or unusual. Does that make me not as good...or even an almost bad teacher??

As I reflect here, thinking about what I'm doing and how I'm feeling, I think it's just part of developing as a teacher. I'm working to understand a new group of kids. I have fewer kids so I don't need as many different things to make sure everyone has choices and things to do. And maybe it's a time for me to think more about my cocoon until my next big new burst of teaching insight and practice.

Whatever it is, I want to enjoy the season I'm in now and work to move to wherever this journey takes me next. And I'm going to stop comparing myself to other teachers and to my past self. Embrace today and push for tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is inaccurate to think we need to come up with new things all the time in order to be a good teacher. I think there is much to be said about simplicity. I think if we look at our own childhoods and those before us they did not have a lot of toys. Our parents weren't continuously coming up with new things for us to do every single day like a lot of the blogs out there make parents feel they need to do. I had a friend who fell into this trap. She thought she wasn't doing a good job because she wasn't doing that, but she does provide toys and an environment for her kids to grow in.