I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but Wednesday seems to be the day when I am the most introspective. I think it’s because it is the longest workday officially, and it also tends to be the day when sometimes I have to wait a little extra before going home…
It’s a long story, and I don’t particularly want to go into that right now.
So today’s wonderings come from the round of good news that’s happened in my life lately. For a while there, I felt like I was running around in circles and that I wasn’t going to be able to get everything done.
And, well, if I’m honest, I couldn’t get it all done. Something had to give, and unfortunately, it was the April Camp NaNoWriMo.
I’m not terribly surprised. This time of year is exceptionally stressful. There is so much emphasis on that silly state test that anything outside of work is really asking a little too much.
But all that aside, I’ve been doing really well.
Yeah, I know, not that long ago I was feeling ready to crater and fall apart, but seriously, all it took was a three day Sims binge and I was almost back to human again.
(Really it was more of a week long Sims binge, but shhh… Don’t tell or I’ll have to feed you to my Cowplant!)
I survived the STAAR test, and yes, I took a day off to keep from falling apart since the whole week was against my routine, but I’ve bounced back with a fierceness! I had my observation, and I must say, it went well! I got my results back today, and I was rather pleased!
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I could have done better, but it was one of the best ones I’ve had in a while. I particularly appreciated that my appraiser recognized that there were higher order thinking questions embedded in the lesson, that there was a sense of mutual respect in the classroom, and that my “relaxed” manner of approaching the material did not diminish the level of rigor happening in my room.
She was impressed by the way the students were willing to help one another when I cold called to check for understanding and at how easily the kids were able to make connections to their own lives, showing that the students were already thinking in a semi-analytical way about the research project I was only just introducing. She made notations of some of the student comments, and even included one point where a student (who was probably being sarcastic) said, “It’s because you love us, right?” To which I (according to the notes on the appraisal) said, “Absolutely,” and then brought them back to focus.
To say I’m excited to be getting positive feedback is an understatement. My old school was so dismissive of me because I began teaching at a small school that I came to this one with a great deal of doubt. Enough doubt that sometimes when I get positive feedback, I don’t feel like I’ve earned it.
Yeah, I’ve got that Impostor Syndrome pretty bad…
But this time, I only feel like I’m finally being acknowledged for what some part of me knew I was capable of all the time. And of what the kids keep telling me: I am actually a good teacher!
If I look back at what I’ve done to make myself feel more confident, a goodly amount of it has to do with actually keeping to a schedule of some sort. When I gave myself time to sit down and look at the lesson and modify it as I knew I needed to, I was successful. When I stuck to my bedtime ritual, I slept better, and thus woke up on time and was able to fulfill all the steps in my morning ritual, and I felt more prepared to meet the day.
Since I took my day off to get back to human, I haven’t been late, not once.
I have ideas about what I’ll teach for summer school. I’m equally confident it will go well because I feel like last summer went well, but I’ve learned more about how to read data and make use of it this year, which was my main goal. When I have the freedom to create lessons based on the data and taking into account the personalities of my classes, I do even better!
So this summer should be solid.
I’m getting a little rambly and repetitive. The big thing is that I feel better about what I’m capable of.
But I am nervous about the test results. I feel like the last minute push boot camp that we put them through actually had us going a little bit backward. I haven’t quite identified why I feel that way, but I am not as confident about what I did second semester as I am about how things went first semester when I had kiddos making crazy leaps in their progress.
Fingers crossed it’s just my Impostor Syndrome acting up again.
When I started this post, I was hoping to talk more about some of my Autistic insights I’ve had the last few days… even just today, to be honest, but if I start that now, 2 bad things will happen: this post will be one of those ridiculously long ones (it may be too late…), and I’ll stay up past my bedtime, and I really don’t want to ruin my streak of good days.
I’m going to try to remember to come back later this week to tell you the thoughts I’ve been thinking lately. For today, my successful embracement of routines will have to do.
Next post I hope to talk a bit about Masking. I happened upon the following image while scrolling through Facebook, and it described what I go through so well, that it was a little bit scary!
I also can’t help but think that part of why I feel more at ease of late is that I’m embracing my autistic self more and more, and accepting that I’m not always the person I pretend to be or the mask I sometimes instinctively wear.
But that’s a topic for another day…