Mindset reflection

When I first look at this graphic and consider my own teaching, eighteen years worth, I think, “What has changed? Where have I grown?”

I know that my first year looks very little like this year and not just because I’ve changed teaching assignments.

I began teaching after I already had children of my own and felt like I had experience above other first year teachers. And maybe that was a little bit true, but I spent a lot of time working to absorb the content and way “all the other teachers did it”.

Collaboration wasn’t something that anybody talked about, though I remember a fair amount of consternation about every one being on the same math lesson.

And so I have learned.  I have grown.  I’ve become confident in my strengths and able to ask for help with my weaknesses. Maturity, right?

This year, I dumped the keyboarding program that we’ve been using since the invention of letters. It didn’t work for my kids and it didn’t work for me.

This year, I’m creating lessons that engage many, if not most, if not all of my students before we even discuss what skill we’ll be learning/reinforcing.

This year, I’m connecting their tech skills to what they are doing in the regular classroom.

This year, I plan to have the kids evaluate my class and my teaching. (What’s the worst that could happen?)


This year, I’m learning and I’m growing.

Innovation? And public education? Are you sure?

I’ve been a part of public education, in one facet or another, since 1975. You know, in all the typical roles — student, parent, taxpayer, teacher, coach.


That’s 42 years, math students. And innovation has been a hot topic for every single one of them.

Except, not really.

Public education seems to just have rolled merrily along, doing the same old things, the same old ways. At least, that has been a fair amount of my experience with it.

“If it was good enough for me, it’s good enough for these kids!” Heard it? Of course, you have.

Except, that’s not true. 

The world has changed.  It has moved on. And it is past time that public education does the same.