Well as my third year of teaching is about to begin, so is this blog. I’ll be honest: I have never wanted to be a blogger. There is something about the spotlight (even with very few readers) that I just do not desire. I love asking questions and having authentic conversations, but this part of reflection makes me feel very vulnerable.
However, as I am challenging myself to be a better teacher each year, I must reflect on the moments that have created me to be the teacher that I am today. And as I thought back to moments that defined me, I ultimately began to think about Baylor University’s teaching program. This is the program that has ultimately allowed me to become the teacher (and quite frankly the person) that I am today. What beliefs did Baylor hold true as I was a both an undergraduate and a graduate student in their educational program?
Of the many important values that Baylor held, a required and comprehensive project came to mind instead: efolios. Baylor insisted that I documented my time as a student in the education program via my efolio. This was something that I dreaded. I wasn’t confident in my work as a new student, and I was nervous to create a platform that held “evidence” of proficiency. What did this mean? Was I proficient? Did I deserve to move on? Was I enough of a teacher to make a difference in students’ lives at merely 18?
These were the questions that I first had as I kept my efolio; however, soon these questions morphed into more complex questions such as: did this evidence REALLY best display my thoughts on classroom management? or did I really believe that this was the BEST example of “effective parent communication” I encountered this semester? I realized the entire point of collecting this evidence throughout my educational career. It wasn’t that every moment I was documenting was so prolific that I must record it into my efolio- it was that the growth shown throughout these years as a student served as a testimony. My educational and professional testimony. I would not stay stagnant. My efolio would show the growth that I unknowingly encountered throughout my experiences at Baylor.
THIS is why I have ultimately decided that not only I would, but that I MUST, blog as a new teacher. Each day and each year is full of unknowing potential. I am a teacher that is dedicated to learning every day with my students and I hope to document this personal growth through this blog.
As I have recently became passionate about portfolios (obviously), I have decided to take my students along this adventure. This year I am incorporating interactive notebooks. My hope is that this does not become a burden for me or for my students; instead, I hope that this becomes an opportunity for my students to catalog their learning via their notebooks. I hope that as I discover the benefits of self-reflection my students are simultaneously awakened to the benefits of documenting experiences that are PROOF of their learning and growth as a person.
Stay tuned! I’m very hopeful that this year will be a year of growth for both me and my kids.
(P.S. If you have any suggestions for interactive notebooks- that would be great 🙂 )