I am one week from the first day of school and I am starting to get jittery about the year. I don’t know why but this happens every year. I know I don’t have anything to be nervous about, but I still get this feeling. It’s almost like stage fright.
I am trying something very new this year with flexible seating and personalized learning. It is out of my comfort zone. It is going to be foreign having students sitting on the floor doing work, but I am invested in giving this a try. Not everything will work, but it is so different from what we are all used to that we will most definitely learn something new from the experience.
I am moving away from the familiar way that I’ve taught in the past. I am moving toward students learning to ask their own questions, collaborating with each other, deciding what they want to learn about, and how they want to show their learning in a unique way.
I am nervous that when this new way gets too difficult, I will go back to my more comfortable way of teaching. I don’t want to do that. That will be a failure for me this year.
I guess I am nervous that I am going to flop and that I will let down the children. My biggest fear is that the students will leave my class uninspired. My second biggest fear is that my students will copy, cheat, and plagiarize and not discover their own unique voice.
So…what can I do to fight these nerves?
- Realize that I am learning and trying just like my students. I tell them to try things and that it is okay to fail and then try again a different way. The same applies to me.
- Take care of myself physically and mentally because if I am not in a good headspace, there will be no magic in the classroom.
- Break down these bigger goals into much smaller goals. Work on protocols.
- Be a mission based classroom. When I create a lesson, ask myself if it is in line with the mission of my classroom. (ex. Will a notes, worksheets, and a multiple choice test help my students learn to ask better questions? Collaborate with each other? Show their learning in a unique way?)
- Put myself in the shoes of the students. What is their day like? What can I do that will put them in a creative mindset? What can I do that is different? How can I grab their attention? How can I get them thinking, asking questions, sharing, and creating?