[this post is about a project I have been working on for this summer. If you would like to read more about it / join in, follow this link.]
Even though it’s the middle of summer, my job as a teacher seems to be unavoidable in my day to day life. I’m not just talking about the unavoidable questions of “so what do you do for a living,” but the places my mind drifts to when I have nothing else to think about. During silences in conversations, or when I close my eyes at the end of the day thoughts of my soon to be classroom are constantly filling my mind. I am finding that years worth of warnings, suggestions, and advice are all bottle-necking at the brim of my consciousness and creating a gridlock keeping me from actually making progress towards my goals. Luckily, in instances like these I find that I can always depend on the help from close friends and other teachers for guidance and support. That is exactly what I have done with this issue, and hope to continue to do.
Over the past couple weeks I have worked with one of my closest friends from my credentialing program to write a comprehensive list of questions to try to answer about the classroom next year. This includes the big dilemmas of teaching, the concrete rules, less concrete systems, and slightly vague norms of a classroom, as well as how to successfully implement such strategies inside the classroom. We’ve included over fifty questions so far, and will most likely add more as we go.
Over the next few weeks (until the end of summer, and possibly beyond), I hope to answer these questions one by one. Perhaps, by the end of the summer, I will have a fairly coherent vision of my classroom for the year. At the very least I will be proactively doing something to fulfill such a vision. I will have an outlet for my unquenchable educational mental meanderings.
But if there is one thing I’ve learned about unquenchable educational mental meanderings, they cannot take place in a vacuum (or at least those which do are of inferior quality when compared to the alternative). The truth is that these questions do not get answered in a nutshell, but through conversations with differing viewpoints, more experienced teachers, and an abundance of ideas. in the past I made a call for assistance. Here is what I was speaking of. I hope that this will not just be helpful for me, but for anyone who struggles with specific features of their classroom. I hope this site can become a forum for ideas and a testament to the holistic nature of group thought. Otherwise it will become merely a road-map of my classroom (which is definitely not a bad thing). I invite you to browse the site, read it’s aims, and hopefully partake in valuable discussions.