- Adding Twitter to my students' digital citizenship curriculum, as a basic introduction to social media on how, why, and what to share with those who might be looking.
- Participating in professional chats via my own Twitter account. I've come to look forward to connecting with other teachers and friends of education on a global level via #satchat, #sunchat, and #teacherfriends each week.
- Adding an updated sensory tub into my students' center rotation seemed important too, after having gone without a sand and water table for years. Dear Husband and The Third Grader made one for me out of PVC pipe and a clear storage tub with lid. Its popularity rates right up there with the iPads that my Super Stars love to use.
But I'm a teacher whose annual personal and professional calendar runs August to May, with some professional development activities planned for June and July. I don't eat, breathe, and sleep teaching, because I'm a wife and mother who is far too interested in exploring my little corner of the world, expressing myself, and learning about other things and other people. I have hobbies that have little to do with teaching kindergartners the rhythm of public school. I enjoy loud music and bawdy humor that aren't appropriate for classroom and school settings. I want to spend time with my family, garden, read, nap, and breathe deeply in a way that just can't be done when every moment is scheduled with objectives to be met and measured. June, July, many weekends and holidays are mine, for me and my family, though my teacher's eye is never completely closed (hello Target $1 bins, yard sales, used book stores and Pinterest).
Proud to be a teacher, I try to be a good one, and thankfully I can say that the good I find in and feel about teaching young children still outweighs the burdensome, depressing, and defeating events that also find their way into this profession.
What does the future hold?
I'd love to take the next step in having my students collaborate and communicate with other kindergartners via Twitter. I don't believe in throwing my students into the deep end of the social media ocean, or burying them under an avalanche of new vocabulary, tools, apps, and requirements for mastery listed on seven pages of objectives. Let's explore, share ideas, and learn from, about, and with other like-minded children, at our own pace.
Though I've shared to #ksedchat (hoping it's Kansas Ed Chat), teachers here in Oz don't seem to meet up via Twitter at any set time. I'd love to explore the possibility of becoming a co-moderator for a chat. Anyone else with me?
... and, because I don't have more hours in the day than anyone else, and I believe in an effective and efficient plan for a well rounded life, I'm considering passing the torch of committee work and extra duties to someone else next year. I want to take more college classes, but just can't while Dear Husband works until seven at night, The Third Grader needs help with homework, and the house requires upkeep. While many teachers accept their heavy work load, over time becoming adept at meeting the requirements of their contract, such efficiency tends to cause administrators (and the public) to believe that three or four more responsibilities will be also be well managed and executed by capable employees in the same brief amount of time allotted within a school calendar. So many of us feel we can't say no, so we don't, or fear we shouldn't because we might receive a less than proficient rating on our teacher evaluations. It's our families, spouses, friendships and our own souls that end up neglected for it.
This is my nineteenth year of teaching. I'm committed to it.
But I am no less committed to the rest of my life.