100th post!

WordPress went all crazy and automatically published an early version of another post I was working on about organizing my classroom, so I took it down. That’ll come later. I’m excited to share my new classroom with you all; I’ve moved classrooms three times in the last year, and I think I’m here to stay in one room for (at least) one school year. Huzzah!

This post is dedicated to all of the people who have helped me stay motivated through my first few years of teaching. I started this blog to share what goes on in my early years, specifically student teaching in Belize, then my first job in a charter school, now to Colorado to an alternative high school, and now that I’ve finally reached my fourth, I have realized that without being to get feedback, support, and encouragement, I would have felt incredibly isolated and unreflective. It’s different to write in a journal and put it away; when I write for others to see and get feedback from them, it validates what I’m doing. I wish I could say that I’m always confident and don’t need help or ideas or emotional validation from other teachers/people, but I can’t.

So many times I have questioned my place in this profession—my husband can attest to that (one time I asked him, “What if I went to med school?” Because it seemed better than teaching. He did not laugh in my face, which is why he is the best husband. But for the record, med school is not a place for an English teacher). I have wanted to back out a lot; the pressure and trap of feeling the nihilism of the politics involved has come so close to pushing me out. I notice that when I’m blogging (and most definitely have the time to write), I am clearer about my position and role as a teacher. It is easy to disengage and wait for the end of the year; writing and reflection helps keep that at bay.

Looking back, this blog has allowed me to share the indelible moments of teaching kids: Like when they look out for you, when they respond to Shakespeare in certain ways, and when NPR fails them.

It has also allowed me to share relevant educational news, start sharing strategies that worked in my classroom, and review teaching books.

I have also been able to reflect on how teachers are perceived vs. how we are, and comment on “education reform.”

To all of you who follow, read, and respond, and help guide me through the ups and downs—Thank you. I wish I could give each of you a big chocolate cake. Or cake of your choice, since some people do not like chocolate (which I will never understand or support).

So to teachers young and old—if you don’t blog, give it a try! It’s free. It’s fun. And you’ll be all the better for it.

-S

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