Showing posts from September, 2010

Good things!

I have been exhausted this year. Really, it feels like my first year of teaching all over again. Back when planning was day by day and there was so much I wanted to accomplish in such a little time. I have gone through a lot of emotions in this project based learning Academy 21 that I am in. This week I have felt accomplishment. I have seen some of my advisory kids grow in ways that I don't think a traditional setting teacher would have caught or would have had the time to work on. I have seen kids reflect on themselves and say that they need help with time management and being comfortable as a leader of a group. I have also realized that I am building relationships that don't normally happen in a traditional setting. I can tell that I have made quite a connection with in my advisory. I can tell that she feels more at ease with me and she shares things with me. I am now able to get past her passive attitude and get to the heart of her weaknesses and build them up to …

Stages of Change

Forming... Storming... Norming... Performing...

This year I know that I am a part of changing education. I know it is going to be a big thing and that I can be a part of something that I completely believe in. I also know that I am probably in the storming stage of change. I have found this week to be very stressful and I am only on Wednesday. I have analyzed the four stages of change and I understand that morale need to "bottom out" before they get better.

Yesterday I had a parent informational meeting that went great. Parents had a lot of questions and concerns, but also a lot of support for us and what we are doing. As I looked out into the crowd of parents, I saw some that just looked puzzled or causious. By the end of the meeting, I saw these same adults look a lot more relaxed. And after the meeting I had some parents that wanted to talk with me. They were very nice and I could tell that they were a little taken back when I was able to explain their child in…

Realizing Change is Hard

When my principal held a staff meeting and explained the idea to pilot a project/problem based learning group in our school, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of that. Who wouldn't want to? Well actually, I do know a number of people who wouldn't want to. To me, it seems like everything a teacher wants: students to learn independence, responsibility, and good work habits. I also was very interested in having my own advisory group. I thought of all the great relationships I could build with the students and how I could see their growth up close. I really wanted to be a part of Academy 21. I have been waiting for this school year to start so I could see how Academy 21 would work in my building. Now, it has been a week and a half and I am realizing that "deprogramming" students from what they are used to is hard. Kids are so used to being told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and expect a teacher to keep them caught up with it all. My kids are slowly real…

Day 3 of school!

This post will be a short one because I am TIRED! This is my fifth year teaching, but it really feels like my first year again. Academy 21 (our project-based learning pilot) has been a lot of fun but it takes a lot of time and effort. I hope I remember these first few days at the end of the year because I am sure that I will be amazed by how much my students will have grown.

Yesterday I asked my advisory group to email me and tell me anything they think I should know about them. Here is one of those letters (oh yeah, I changed the name to STUDENT A for obvious reasons):

Hi Ms. Colque!

I am STUDENT A, but I hope you already know that. I live with my medium sized family, which consists of my mom, dad, sister (10), and brother (7). I love to run (cross country and track) and I am a cheerleader. That pretty much leaves me with no free time but when I am fortunate enough to get some, I swim.
Do not be surprised if I don't talk to you in the morning, I am NOT a morning person. As the day g…

1st Day of Changing Education

Today was the first day of Academy 21. I have been wanting this day to come since the end of last year. I met 28 great kids. I even learned all of their names by heart within the first hour. Today they learned about the school and their school issued laptops and tomorrow they start their first project. Within their advisory groups they will be designing their classroom.

Today's Rose:
I think I am most looking forward to having an advisory group. I can't wait to create the environment I have always wanted but never had the prime opportunity.

Today's Thorn:
I have not had the time to get materials ready for my traditional social studies classes (I am really trying hard to balance work with having an actual life outside of work) so I didn't leave school today until 6 p.m. Not the way I wanted to start off my school year. I realized that balancing Academy 21 and my traditional classes is going to be harder than I thought. Here is to a crazy, busy, successful year!