Monday, March 7, 2011

A teacher's wish list

It's the 7th month of my 1st year teaching middle school math. I am enjoying the experience. I am learning a lot.

And I think I have finalized my classroom wish list.

This is no ordinary wish list of donations like tissue boxes and reams of copy paper. This is a professional wish list, and it goes something like this:

Wish #1: I would like one full teacher work day for every 10 days of instruction. By "full teacher work day" I mean no meetings, no training sessions, no students, no parent conferences, nada. Just me, in my classroom, prepping. Period.

Wish #2: I would like a week of non-school for every 10 weeks of school. I've already discussed this before, but it never hurts to reiterate it. Seriously, over-work is no-good for anyone.

Wish #3: I would like to watch someone teach MY subject in MY setting to MY students every so often. I would like to hang around to observe, side-teach, etc while this occurs. And I would like to discuss the lesson with this someone.

Wish #4: I would like to be observed by someone every so often, and discuss this observation in relevance to MY setting only. No "what ifs," no "you should do these things." Just "this is what I saw happen, the good and the not so good; do what you will with this information."

Wish #5: I would like to teach some demo lessons in a colleague's setting, to THEIR students in THEIR subject. With chances to repeat with the same class/subject/setting later in the year.

Wish #6: I would like to involve my students in the community, and vice versa.

Wish #7: Tied to wishes #3-5 in a way, I would like to share the observation/demo lesson findings in an academically systematic and journalistic way to whoever would like to know about them. I would like to see the observation/demo lesson findings of other teachers in an academically systematic and journalistic way. I would like to see this happen at local, state, national, and international levels.

When I was 6, I wished for a dog. I got a dog when I was 7.
When I was 14, I wished for a car. I got a car when I was 16.
When I was 17, I wished to study and live abroad. I studied abroad when I was 21. I lived abroad when I was 23.
When I was 25, I wished for work that I liked and my own place to live. I got both when I turned 27.

I've been pretty lucky with my wishes. I'm going to work hard to make that luck happen with these wishes too.


Lsquared said...

Excellent wishes--ones that would us all more effective teachers.

mini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mini said...

#2 Do it for the kids too. Set up ten weeks of homework and one week of games that are related to the first ten weeks, you play too. I know you are talking about an actual quarter system, ten weeks on one week off, I think this is also important for the students, and if you could do a virtual quarter system you could start helping the over 100 kids you probably teach. I work with a lot of burnt out kids.

#3 I would love to be involved in something like that, I am an educational therapist and I work with several math students k-12. Many times I think I would love to get into the classroom and teach a section of the text, Without signing up full time, I already have a full load. I have thought of substitute teaching but that would take me away from my students and would not get me into the subjects I am interested in, nor would I be team teaching, just filling in.

#7 I think we need this in education.