The Joy of Authenticity: A Struggle to “keep it real” in the classroom

Every day is a struggle to make it real.  I am overwhelmed with all the lessons and programs I have to do.  The beauty of this world of writing teachers continues to be an affirmation for me.  There are teachers out there bringing their real lives into the classroom to live and learn with their real students.  When I look at my planning book at the beginning of the week, it bores me.  All the objectives are written in just the right way as dictated by my district.  All the intervention times match up with the required minutes for each subject area.  My goal to teach each program with fidelity clearly demonstrated in these plans.  Monday morning comes with those precious little faces, those unique little lives and my job shows up for real.  They are the ones I serve.  They are the lens I must teach through.  Even though the window of time and space for creative interpretation of their learning shrinks with each passing year, I promise I will struggle to bring my ability to translate a curriculum into a learning journey.  We don’t talk enough about how artful this job must be in order to do this successfully.  Each staff meeting and professional development is carefully crafted for me to keep me focused on the data objectives of my employer that I am asked to buy into.  But, what would happen if our conversations shifted to successful stories of how we met our objectives as led by our students instead of real authentic lessons competing with the fidelity of the program.  My promise to my students, my parents, and my community will be to stay true to the objectives of learning and how they relate to each child’s individual life.  I’m not going to break my back to make them fit into the program.

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3 comments

  1. One the most wonderful things that I have had this year is a partner. We do not team teach, we have 2 separate classes but we plan together, we create together, we work together to make the lessons meaningful and relevant. To be honest, I am the data girl, she is the craft girl, together we make an awesome team. We can do both. The way you speak of your students show how much you care. It is wonderful.

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