Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Developing The Inner Champion:

Hello blog world! I'm not sure who might be the future viewers of my blogs, but I am glad you are here and took the time to read some thoughts and perspectives I desired to share. This is my first year as a special education teacher. I have never been so overworked and exhausted in my life from my occupation. However, I have never felt such an immense amount of self-fulfillment, satisfaction, and pride in my life. I honestly never anticipated to learn as much from my students, as they learn from me. My students each day teach me patience, how to apologize, the importance of laughing, humor, hard work, endurance, and how to rise to challenges. I foremost would like to acknowledge the importance of reflection. Each day I reflect on my instructional practice as a teacher. I ask myself constantly..did I have effective supports/scaffolding, did I ensure everyone used complete academic sentences, did I smile at that student and recognize improvement? I hope and strive to better myself and learn/adjust from each day's experience. I am inspired by my fellow faculty members and peers. I am thankful for this opportunity to profoundly impact so many kid's lives. I teach more than just Common Core standards. I teach how to conduct oneself in a formal setting, how to apologize, how to self-monitor, how to take ownership for actions, and etc. Overall, I want this blog to be a place to release and share my thoughts, perspectives, and ideas. Without a doubt, I know I could use this blog as a tool to remember how each day added to my construction as an educator. Finally, I'd like to end my first blog with a connection to an educator I admire and hope to emulate. Dr. Rita Pierson recently passed away. I first saw Dr. Rita Pierson on a TEDx talk on YouTube and was instantly a fan. I admired her ideas on building authentic relationships with students and the power they had in the schoolhouse. Each word and phrase was meaningful and made the hair on my neck stand up. I was paralyzed by the god-like disguised tone with each word. Dr. Rita Pierson was just not speaking, but preaching. This sermon, not being a religious person, was a call to all educators alike to rise to the occasion in building relationships with all students. Yes, yes the challenging students indeed need a mentor, a brick wall if you will, and a champion. I instantly was magnetized to the word champion. A champion I thought to myself, a person who wins perhaps. No, my instinctual  thoughts did not do it justice. A champion in this sense is someone who never relinquishes defeat to a student. A champion is a person of integrity, who holds ALL students to high standards, accountability, and is real when they know the student is not upholding themselves to their best. Students encounter a variety of people daily, but in their eyes how many are champions?  I would be honored to be that champion to at least one of my students. I hope at least one of my pupils see me as that unbreakable brick-wall, that support beam, that helping hand, that " praise the lord, I needed you" person. I want to always be there for my students when they need someone to confine in and trust. I know sometimes my students come to my office/class just to talk or perhaps escape an assignment waiting at their desk in another classroom. However, I always let my students know there is a time to talk and a time to get to work! I am a firm believer in getting to know my students. Some days it is okay to talk for the first 5 minutes of class. I like to know what my students are doing outside of school, what their hopes and aspirations are, and what might be troubling them. Every student needs a person they trust in a school. Trust is key to academic and personal success. All in all, I am well on the journey of building student-teacher relationships, implementing culturally responsive teaching, and humanizing my pedagogy. I just hope it's enough. As I end my first blog, I'd like to take the time to thank Dr. CW at our school. Dr. CW is our school facilitator and she promoted the idea of teachers having a blog to promote writing for our students. Perhaps one day my students will be blogging too. I always felt like blogging is a form of relief.I hope everyone has a wonderful evening. Time to watch an episode of StarTrek and fall asleep. I know I'll wake up a champion.

4 comments:

  1. Alex, so glad you are blogging! And such powerful words for a first post! We have definitely seen the impact of your efforts on our kids- your students are achieving at a higher level than I have ever seen those kids do before! Your words and passion for kids brought me to tears this morning! Thanks for caring for kids so much! Thanks for being such a champion for our kids!

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  2. Welcome to slicing! I'm inferring that your Dr. CW is the special person who has commented already. Lucky you to have the wisdom of Carol guiding you! I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.

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  3. Welcome to SOL, Alex. You are so reflective and positive--our profession is fortunate to have you. I look forward to reading your words and embracing your positivity. Sometimes teachers can burn out and become negative--you remind me to nurture, to build relationship, to teach more than Common Core. Keep blogging. You will learn more about who you are as a teacher and a person, and you have a lot to share. Thanks, Dr. CW for challenging and inspiring Alex.

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  4. Dr. CW, thank you! Your blog inspired me as well. It has been an honor to work with you and the rest of the staff. I have learned so much and couldn't have made it this far without the support of so many caring individuals.

    Thank you Elsie! I have very happy with having such a wise and passionate educator guiding me as well. I am excited to keep writing and sharing my thoughts/ideas here.

    Meanderingmaya, thank you for your kind words. I am happy and look forward to blogging when I get home. I also enjoy reading other teacher's blogs and learn from their experiences as well!

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