Where's the Outrage?

I've been caught in the minutia. Worried about how to teach test sophistication. How to get my assessment binder filled with acuity data and DRA scores. How to get my students' portfolios up to date. It's all important and part of best practices. But for someone like me who took this job on for very specific reasons it can all serve as a distraction. Classroom management too.

When I first started teaching I couldn't believe some of the stuff I saw around me. The way so many teachers yell... It seemed like in order to get control a lot of teachers sought to disable instead of empower their students. And it feels like lately I've been willing to do the same. I've used sarcasm and yelling, and been too obsessed with equating silence with diligence. What used to appall me in September doesn't even register with me anymore.

This isn't what drew me to teaching. I wanted everything to be different. I wanted to find a way to teach I guess it's a continuing dilemma. How do I fulfill all my obligations and cover my ass without "selling out" my original intentions? I feel like I've learned so much, but at the same time as I look back on where I started I feel like I've lost some focus.

I've only got one year with these kids. And I can focus on teaching all the essentials of the fourth grade curriculum. Or I can also focus on teaching my students how to be better citizens or stronger people. I don't think it's an either-or equation, and hopefully I'll find the right balance by the end of the year.


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