Tuesday, November 17, 2015

on teaching (a few random thoughts)

This morning I was reading a news article about the current shortage in Special Education teachers (which seemed very much the same as I remember the situation being when I was teaching) and the pressure of all the paperwork, etc. The article wasn't anything thrilling, but the timing was perfect since I'd just dreamed about this last night --

I was teaching again and I went in to school one morning to find a small pile of student files: IEP's waiting to be done that I had overlooked. The familiar dread set in, And I thought in my dream something like "Maybe I can just tell the director that I will be a great teacher and show up every day and do my best to teach and help these students, but  she'll have to find someone else to handle the meetings and paperwork for me." (I have a feeling that maybe wouldn't have gone over so well in real life :)

I only taught for two years, and that was nearly ten years ago, so I think it's so funny that I'll still have dreams like these (full of such worry!) or the even more common scenario where my class is  filing in and taking their seats (or not) and I'm scrambling at the front of the room to pull together some kind of lesson at the (very!) last minute.

A few weeks ago, I had so much fun putting together some writing activities for some of the small groups in Ellie's class. And I remembered as I was doing it how I used to think that I might enjoy the lesson/activity preparations even more than the actual teaching. (Is that terrible?)  Once there was a whole group of students in the classroom in front of me, all of my best planned activities somehow didn't work out as perfectly as I'd imagined :)  And a few weeks in, I've found that my best little writing center ideas are fine, but definitely not working out in any perfect way!

I think all of that is why I love doing preschool time at home with my kids so much.  I get to be creative and think of simple little games and lessons, and they don't have to be fancy or perfect. I get to teach my favorite people in the world. And since I'm teaching just one child at a time, we can work at exactly what level they are on.  There is no paperwork, there are no meetings to schedule with other parents. No stress (I've never had preschool-time nightmares! ) If I forget to plan an activity or run out of time,  I can make something up in the few minutes before quiet time ends. And if my best planned activities don't seem to work, we can always switch to playing cars and try again tomorrow.