What Did I Learn?

#Kinderblog2012 Question Numero Un!

What did you learn this past (or, for our southern hemisphere friends, what ARE you learning this current) school year that you couldn’t have learned any other year, from any other students or colleagues or administrators or parents? What lessons did this particular year, this particular setting, these particular children bring into your life?

A better question, perhaps, might be what *DIDN’T* I learn this year? This has certainly been a year of change…a metamorphosis, of sorts? I have been teaching for 22 years, and in those years, I have faced many challenges (will blog about those some other time). I thought that by this time in my career I had things figured out. I had my routines down pat, I had my lessons prepared well, I had the students figured out. What I didn’t bank on was getting hooked into an amazing PLN like #kinderchat who would challenge everything I thought I knew about teaching! What I learned was that I had SO MUCH MORE to learn.

I have always enjoyed teaching. I think I’m one of those people who is born to be a teacher. My mom taught grade 1 for 30 years, my dad taught for 36 years in the same school, and my brother has been teaching middle school for 15 (?) years now. It was inevitable that I joined them in making education my career. What we all have in common, is a love for children, and a desire to help them learn in whatever way best fits their needs. I have always known that I am supposed to be a teacher. What I didn’t bank on, was being challenged (in a good way!) every step of the way this school year.

What I learned that was new this year is that I don’t have to fit someone else’s mold of what they feel a Kindergarten teacher should be. I can try new things. I can start a class blog. I can connect my class with the rest of the world through the Kindergarten Around the World Project. I can tweet with my class. I can have my students #Skypeplay with other Kindergarten students from around the world (we even Skyped with our partner class in Japan!). I can get my K’s blogging on kidblog.org. And I can do all of these things knowing that I am NOT ALONE! I am not the only Kindergarten teacher who wants a more global education for their students. Nor am I the only teacher who wants to push the envelope and try new things with her class. By connecting with the educators of #kinderchat, I have found “my people”. It is a group that daily challenges me, encourages me, inspires me and helps me be a better teacher.

Thank you, #kinderchat, for helping me to be the best teacher I can be!

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10 thoughts on “What Did I Learn?

  1. It is nice to know I don’t have to be like everyone else at my school and try knew things as well. Thanks for your help while I was trying to change and challenge myself and my students learning. I want to try more next year

  2. Michelle, I love that the wonderful peeps at #kinderchat have given you the strength to do what you feel is right with your teaching. I too rely on the strength on my PLN to push boundaries, while others aren’t quite there yet. Soon enough what we do with our students will be the norm, and we will be off in another direction improving our practice. It is so nice to have people along for the ride that actually get us. πŸ™‚ Twitter is wonderful for that. Karen

  3. Twitter is an amazing way to connect, communicate and collaborate with other teachers who have the same passion as you. I love that you can learn, share, help and get inspired to try new things. Twitter is awesome!

  4. Aw what a wonderful reflection! I agree, kinderchat has taught me so much, who would’ve known?! I’m glad I have my people on twitter like you to inspire and challenge me!

  5. I haven’t been teaching quite as long as you have, (close, but not quite!) and one of the major shifts in my practice occurred after I became involved in social media. Discovering the entire world is full of passionate educators who enjoy reaching out, sharing and learning together brought a whole new layer to my teaching practice. It’s good to have a greater awareness of others around the world who share out wonderful profession – it brings comfort, yes, and many, many other benefits to our practice and, indirectly, to our students.

    I have a teaching family too – mom taught primary, dad high school (spent most of his time in Vancouver as admin) and my brother teaches high school English. I also believe there is nothing I’d rather do than teach – it’s where I’m supposed to be. I know that deep down inside.

    Great to connect here! Sorry about the sideways avatar – I don’t know why it does that!!

    • Thanks for commenting, Errin! I think sometimes our real world classrooms can be far too insular, so finding the professional and personal connections beyond the four walls we teach in is extremely important.

      And cheers to your family and their many years of service in education!

      Michelle

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