Monday, December 20, 2010

A Weary Mind, Body and Spirit

Wow am I ever drained - and very glad that it is Christmas Break (though I could also have dealt with staying a few more days so that we had more time after New Years Day, but oh well). It pretty much feels like I have not slept since Thanksgiving. Combine the busy life with the season change, and it all makes sense.

November was busy at school. You get into the second half of the semester realizing that your courses are nowhere near half-way through their curricula, you don't have the energy to lesson plan, and every committee, club or sport your are involved in is about to get busier. Every weekend, something prevented me from sleep - a hockey tournament, the Future Aces Leadership Conference and an OSSTF new teachers retreat being the most notable. I have definitely learned a lot.

The Future Aces: A Conference Empowering Students was a great experience. It was really nice to get to spend some time with students with amazing leadership potential from across Ontario for a weekend. We had fun getting to know each other and hearing from very inspiring speakers like Matt Evans on the adversities he has overcome through comedy, Amanda on her lemonade 4 heart campaign that she has been running since the age of 2, and Paul Rosen on losing his dream to play in the NHL and almost losing his life. Students learned about various causes like MAD: Making a Difference (where Maddie started raising funds to build a community in Africa as her WISH when she was fighting cancer), OSAID: Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, and human trafficking in Ontario.

To say the least the weekend away with a small group of students from my school was both rewarding and tiring. I cannot wait to have the chance to go again and am really hoping that I can keep the 8 kids together to accomplish what we have now set out to do. They have decided to host a week-long coin drive at school with various events involved to raise money for Maddie's Wish Project. It is going to be a challenge considering I have never run anything like this before, and neither have any of these students - but that was the whole idea!

On another note, some small milestones have been met in some challenging areas of my teaching life. I am slowly learning to put my foot down sooner, rather than later (it's a tough one for us nice folk). Some of the students I was having trouble reaching are buying into the routines in the classroom and are completing work and causing less trouble. Of course there are those who are not buying into it and I am still having trouble with. Some day I will find ways to deal with students who are vain or overly talkative class clowns, but I doubt that this semester will be the day. I am going to come out of this semester with some new tricks up my sleeves and with the knowledge that I have a lot of support around me. I am going to walk into next semester with a new way of starting things and the conviction to follow through with them and create a better learning environment. And I will do all of this knowing that it will not be perfect, that sometimes I will fail, that it is going to take a lot of time and effort. Time and effort that will be taken away from the already huge challenge of having three new courses to teach. Time and effort that will be taken away from coaching teams and helping Future Aces.

Somehow, it will all work out.

No comments:

Post a Comment