Sooooo the last few weeks have been rough. Well this entire school year has been rough, but I feel like I’m on a downhill slide and I’m not talking about that fun downhill towards the end of the year.
I feel so torn right now. Like ripped down the middle and I don’t know how to put myself back together.
Being a teacher has so many facets. It’s not ‘show up and teach then go home.’ I often read blog post from people no longer in the classroom that say forget grades, tests, and focus on ___, this is why___. And I take that advice and put it in my knowledge of what’s right for kids and what’s wrong. Then I walk into my classroom and I feel stuck.
First days of school I share with my students my goals for them. To be honest the goal is never for them to learn Earth Science. My goal is for them to learn to solve problems, to become better thinkers, and scientist. I tell them our class focus will never be on passing test. These are really goals and ideas I believe in.
But here is where I’m torn. I am a science teacher. I am the last time between now and high school graduation my students will have a class on space, plate tectonics, weather, rocks, water cycle, etc. It’s it for them. I try so hard to deliver the content as many different ways as possible. I use formative assessments every day, which I use to drive my lessons. Not bragging just pointing out I do everything in my power to deliver this content to using best practices.
But I’m feeling like a failure right now. So yay they are getting better at solving problems, putting things on paper, having discussions BUT am I succeeding if the content knowledge isn’t what it should be. Meeting standards and kids learning these ‘facts’ are my job too, like it or not. Not so much memorize but to know this stuff so they can make informed statements. Everyday for 3 weeks I some how put low & high air pressure into my lesson. From lessons about winds to lessons about thunderstorms, air pressure was there. Not just a blip but tons of time reviewing it. Yet on a test they can’t tell the difference. I know tests aren’t the only method of measurement but I bet if I asked them in the morning, I still would have majority not answer correctly. And this is just one small example.
So I’m torn. Are all these methods I’m using wrong? Is it me? Should I still be doing this job? Because I’m not feeling like I’m worth a crap as a teacher right now. If you follow me on twitter, or even this blog, you may have (or haven’t lol that won’t hurt my feelings) noticed I haven’t been there in a while and if I am it’s rarely an education focused post. I don’t know what I have left to give to others. Who the heck wants to listen to the unsuccessful? I read tweets & blogs and get frustrated because these people are succeeding and I’m doing similar things and failing. Those that have known me for a while know I feel PD and working with teachers and tech are my biggest strengths, so am I doing my students injustice still being in the classroom?
I don’t know the answers but I know I’m tired. Completely tired and feel like I’m torn in two because I can’t figure out what is most important any more. Is it content? Is it teaching them to be thinkers? And how do I balance these? I do I piece it back together?? Maybe I have out stayed my welcome. I just don’t know any more. I know the tears must stop. I have to put on my big girls pants and finish the year. I guess now I just need to find motivation to do that.