It’s been a long week. Wednesday was a long day for me and I felt particularly defeated going into our Google hangout session, which is why I was relatively quiet. But at the end I was able to contribute to the conversation while sort of vent at the same time. I’m sorry if it was painful to listen to. I just feel beat up and worn out in this position some days. It’s my first year teaching these specific grade levels and my first year at my school. I’m creating the curriculum for 4 different courses. It’s a lot, but I know there is a payoff; I’m becoming a stronger teacher, a dynamic teacher, and next year will go much smoother. I won’t even know what to do with all the time I’ll save from having my curriculum in place on day one.
I love teaching and I love my students, but I don’t always feel like I accomplish as much as I hope to. I’m sure this is normal. As a new teacher it’s important to appreciate and embrace small successes and victories. Yesteray, I had an unexpected success with my 7th grade that made my day, and so I thought I would share.
We have been reading literature as of late with a “Coming of Age” theme. Among the stories are a couple poems. Noticing the descriptive detail of the poems, I took the opportunity to do a mini lesson on imagery and sensory details. We kept track of the descriptions in each poem and which of the 5 senses it appealed to on a graphic organizer. We even created our own sensory details by imagining a day on the beach. Yesterday I gave them an assignment to go to the travel section of Theguardian.com and find a picture of one of the world’s natural wonders. They were to imagine themselves in the scene and write an imagery poem. Since we had never previously written poetry I did not have high expectations for the product they would produce. I was taken aback by how thoughtful and contemplative they were, how they studied the photos, searched for the right adjectives, created their own narrative within the photograph. They were even eager to share with their peers, so I pulled up the specific photo each student wrote about as they read their poem aloud. It was a success. They learned and enjoyed themselves at the same time. And I accomplished more than I hoped to. I posted a few below, along with the pictures that inspired them.
Burning tree, buildings in a crumble,
Cities covered in ash, glowing lava
Like fireworks who dropped the rotten eggs.
The one touch burn
put on the earmuffs rushing lave hissing, cooling red, orange, gray,
black, cooling lava once it is over
houses covered in ash,
people stuck in rock cages preserved
for someone else to find
wow the mountain just got bigger.
I felt the cool breeze,
I smell the flowers as the wind goes by,
I felt the soft grass as I kneel on my knees,
And hearing stomping from the hill I lie.
The big grey creature stands beside me,
Walking with its child.
I wish I could see what they see,
And try living in the wild.
As the massive blue clouds stood,
The warm sun brightened my day.
I took my time as I could,
I wish I could stay.
Lying down, beneath clear blue sky,
Sun shooting at me, with no mercy.
The green palm trees swaying like children dancing.
The crystal clear ocean pounding, tickling my toes.
I hear those greens cracking behind me, as if someone was hiding.
The cold water makes me shiver, but the sun melts me down.
Winds blowing softly as they are touching my face softly.
This is paradise.
I am so proud of the effort my 7th graders put into these poems, and truly impressed by how each of them conveyed their own style. It’s times like this that I am reminded how important and fulfilling teaching is. Celebrate small victories. Happy Friday, #ed677.