Have I had too much to say, or not enough? Have I been thinking too much, or been far too passive? Have I been allowing "teaching" (as defined by the county and state) to wash over me? It seems as such. I haven't prioritized sharing my teaching experiences in the past few years. I would like to think it's because I've been far too busy focusing on my students and learning. But, to be honest, I think I've been far too preoccupied with what is going wrong and what makes me angry and what is "just not right" in education - namely my school and administration.
In all this time, I have tried to stay focused on the students. I'd like to think that I was mildly successful in closing my door and creating a learning environment for them - full of inquiry and fun. Teaching, true teaching, is giving students experiences and guiding their thinking. Free of prejudice or timeframe or script. Follow the learning. Guide the understanding. Show them how the world works, but allow them to truly discover it.
Teaching is not testing. It is not putting multiple choice questions up on the board and discussing the correct answer. They said to make it more authentic by removing the answer choices and letting students write about the correct answer. That THIS was teaching. Sacrificing one subject in order to fit in another - for a 2nd or 3rd time that day - because we were FAILING.
We were failing. I'll save this for later.
I'm just scratching the surface. The change in the classroom since I began teaching - less than 10 years ago - is shocking. The change has been gradual in some ways, while swift in others.
I shied away from blogging, I suppose, to hide the truths - to pretend those changes didn't exist, and in some ways to not hold myself accountable for my thinking about learning in my classroom.
I can't be part of the solution if I remain part of the problem.