Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Giving in to Frustration

I haven't posted in a while... frustrating!
Last year I was invited to join a group of online book reviewers, and bloggers through Stenhouse Publishing. I joined wholeheartedly because I love to read and further myself professionally. I did pretty well for a time, reading and posting about what I was reading. I even joined the group to do some online discussing. Then, frustration took over. As I was reading, in the back of my mind I would be thinking, "this sounds wonderful, this would help my students tremendously, I can't wait to try this!"
But, also in my mind I heard, "This doesnt' follow my corporations curriculum, can I teach this and the curriculum with fidelity? (that's my corporations favorite word this year). Then why read? Oh, it's interesting, and I know it is well reseached, and would help my students tremendously with student achievement. But, it's not the basal, it's not what my corporation expects me to teach, with fidelity.
How do we as educators continue to press further? How do we swallow this educational "reform" and still want to teach? My biggest fear is that reform will be passed but at the end of it all it will not help children in any way become lifelong readers. I don't want to teach this way, I want to teach that books are so interesting that you can't put them down. I want them to know that I receive books from a publishing company to read so that I can make myself better, and because I love reading! I choose to be a reader, everyday! I want that to be my focus for children, and then if they have that love of books, the strategies, and the Venn diagrams, and the compare and contrast the characters, and the transperancies will make sense to them. I don't want to teach from a basal, I want to put real books into the hands of children who have never held the promise of a book.
Frustration took over, and it wilted me and my love for teaching, for a little while. Then I got back to my basics, I picked up books for enjoyment. I read, and read, and read. I discussed them with whoever would listen. They weren't the books from the publisher, they weren't books that I was forced to read, they were books that I wanted to read. I let them replenish me, take me away to places I had never been, and they taught me about myself as a reader. Things I wanted my students to discover about themselves.
Now I am ready, I have a whole stack of books to last me the summer. Ah, sweet summer! I'll be poolside with lots of books in hand, reading, blogging, and gathering myself for next year. I will still be met with "teaching the curriculum with fidelity." I will, but I am also going to sneak in some love of books. I'm going to make sure that frustration does not settle in and destroy my love for books, and teaching. I'll be ready, I just need the summer.

36 comments:

Rebekah Hubley said...

Summer is almost here... One of Ryan's students the other day told him that there were 68 hours and some odd minutes left in the school year. In hours, that seems really short... :-)

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garner said...

Make hay while the sun shines.............................................................

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俊毅俊毅 said...

支持好的blog~繼續加油~~

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幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

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It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

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支持好的blog~繼續加油~~..................................................................

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賢林 said...

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Mike Rush said...

Sarah,

It's been awhile since I visited your blog. Looks like it's been awhile since you posted. Me too; I'm just getting back into the swing. It also looks like your blog is being slammed by Chinese spammers!

I have the feeling that the frustration you wrote about here is something you will wrestle with your entire professional life. That's something non-educators never see. They look at our summer break but can't see the angst we go through wondering if what we are doing is best, right, meaningful for students. Hang in there...our team needs more real wrestlers.

Mike Teacher Food

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莊雅和莊雅和莊雅和 said...

耐心是一株很苦的植物,但果實卻很甜美。..................................................

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Susan said...

Hopefully your summer has been refreshing and a positive for you. It's true, it can get SO DAUNTING. May I suggest one more book? It's called "Entertaining an Elephant" and was written by a burned out teacher. It's a quick read and quite refreshing.

吳彥湛孟修宇 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

冰微 said...

臨淵羨魚,不如退而結網。......................................................

凱許倫 said...

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幸平平平平杰 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。..................................................... ............

316 said...

天氣涼了~要注意身體喔@~@...............................................................

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知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。............................................................

8468 said...

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