Monday, October 12, 2009

While Mommy's away... body and my mind. spirit. love of teaching.

I had the amazing opportunity to attend a seminar this week for beginning teachers at NCCAT, an institute in the mountains of NC that is dedicated to helping teachers remember why they got into education in the first place. We are treated as professionals and adults (not something we always get in our schools and districts) and given an opportunity to become students again and remember that learning can be fun. Since we are always so stressed out with the demands placed on us, we are also pampered, just a bit, with private rooms and bathrooms, white tablecloth meals that we don't have to cook OR clean up after, and some downtime for reflection and relaxation.

The seminars for career teachers allow educators to become students and learn about a topic that is fun and interesting to them. As a beginning teacher, I am attending a seminar to remind me about some of the information in my methods courses and Master's classes and help me put that information into practice, now that I have my own classroom with my own kids. While we all teach different grades and subjects, we have enough in common that we can easily share strategies about what we are struggling with or what we have figured out. We are different enough that approaches a kindergarten teacher takes with her students can prove to be just out of the box enough to be usable in a middle or high school classroom.
For me as an individual, it is nice to get away from the hectic and chaotic atmosphere at home where I can't move a foot without tripping over boxes. It is also an opportunity to step away from the frantic demands of paperwork, lesson planning and grading to reflect on how my teaching can improve to lesson the pressure I feel in the classroom.

Thanks, Heather. I definitely needed this week.

We'll have to check in with the folks at home to see how they are faring this week while Mommy is away. Keep Jim in your thoughts and prayers this week as he is balancing a heavy workload, the craziness of unpacking at the new house and all of the loving, nurturing, and disciplining load that is Katie. Thanks to those of you helping him out and a big shout out to Super Dad whose skills with all of that allow me to leave for 5 days and not worry about what's going on at home.

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