So I've finished my first full month of teacher, and to be honest the experience has been kind of surreal. Never in my wildest teacher dreams did I expect to have a student say, "Mr. V! I love your class, it's my favorite!" But, after my first month, I hear it way more than I should. To say the least, compared to my summer teaching experience, this year has been a complete 180. Not only are my students more engaged and invested in the work, but I find myself exuding more passion in the classroom. It's odd.
I think what has made all the difference has been my attitude. During the summer, I was a recent college T.A. and refused to adjust to varying learning styles. All I wanted to do was lecture and have my students listen attentively. Ironically (or not), that approach doesn't sit well with middle school students. So I've had to be more creative with my approach and with my classroom management (nine kids have had detention with me so far).
I don't want this post to be a huge rant about classroom changes and teaching expectations, but I do want to highlight some of the things my students have done so far this year:
1. My seventh graders have read The Diary of Anne Frank and compared it to the movie version. In a few weeks, we'll be visiting New York's Museum of Jewish Heritage.
2. My seventh and eighth graders are exploring meaningful events in their lives by writing memoirs highlighting key events in their lives.
3. All of my classes have created individual goals to determine where they want to be by the end of the year.
This is just a small list of accomplishments so far. Let's just hope that things keep progressing the way they have been.
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