Thursday, August 18, 2011

Switching Classrooms, Again

Switching, transitioning - sometimes life changes. 

I taught high school English for over seven years. The job was incredibly rewarding, but when I had 2-year-old Ty and 4-month-old Za, it became quite necessary for me to resign. I could not do justice to two very important jobs: teaching and parenting.

Good-bye message from sweet students.

I started this blog as a way to kill time and explore how my life changed, or transitioned. I wrote about my kids, my life. The teacher in me just didn't disappear though.

Soon it became obvious: I had to write about education. Thus, I began focusing on bridging that gap between parents and teachers. I felt I sat on both sides of that theoretical fence. I knew the two questions asked:

1. Parents asked: why do teachers do this ("this," of course could be a worksheet, activity, lecture - anything really).
2. Teachers asked: why do parents not understand what I am trying to accomplish? Do they not know I want their child to learn?

Are flashcards inherently bad? I need to know.

So I knew of this discordance, this disconnect between the two sides. It is still there, of course, larger than ever, maybe. I knew that with the exception of a few, both teachers and parents wanted nothing but the best for children: independent learners, confident people, well-rounded in academics. Eventually my blog grew into addressing the idea that everyone is a teacher, everyone in society, especially parents. Maybe, I thought, if parents knew why teachers did what they did, maybe harmony would replace hostility. Maybe if parents knew that teachers did not require memorization of vocabulary words as torture techniques, but as a way to activate the knowledge and comprehension aspects of Bloom's Taxonomy, they would support the entire process. Maybe.

And quite honestly, I wanted to tell parents not to ease the teachers' jobs, but because they should know. It is not fair that teachers do all this educational 'stuff' with their kids and they have no idea. Parents should be familiar with this terminology. After all, they will be dealing with it for a minimum of 13 years!

What is Ty learning here? More than educators probably know.

I look back at when this blog started and remember wondering if I would continue with it or discard it after a few months. I kept with it, even when it was hard. I have found some pretty loyal readers. I've had some interesting discussions. I've met some fun people along the way.

And I think it is important. And I can't stop now.

I need to continue blogging, exploring this lack of a bridge between parents and teachers. Parents need to know what teachers do and why they do it. They deserve that. When that happens, who knows. Really, it could be powerful if everyone was in this educational arena together.

When I say that I am switching classrooms, again, I mean that I have taken a full-time teaching position. I will be transitioning again, only in a much different way. I must balance my children and a classroom rather than learning how to become a SAHM.

My new teacher's desk, complete with a bottle of Diet Coke.

I will still be blogging here, though. It is a passion, this explanation of how the teaching world has unknown commonality with the teaching world. Parents and teachers switch classrooms; a room with children is a classroom.