Today I am grateful that Monday is over and that Jane Austen wrote some amazing literature and that people have made her books into movies.

Heading into the last week of school before winter break we thought we would each do a little Q&A about ourselves and our teaching so far this year…

Best moment so far this year…  Getting a beautifully honest Christmas card from one of my more vulnerable students.  I cried.  I also felt (for a moment) that maybe some of my hard work is starting to pay off.  Just maybe.

Biggest challenge this year…  Honestly?  Every single day in my class provides new challenges for me and for my teaching.  I’ve tried more behaviour management ideas than I thought I knew about (still taking any ideas anyone else has!)  I’ve tried to differentiate assignments to meet the diverse needs of my learners.  I’ve grown this tremendous amount of patience…I actually feel like I can handle the most ridiculous grade 8 classroom situation and still walk away from it without losing it.  I am hoping that these challenges turn into small victories come New Year.

Differences from last year… Ha! This year is completely different from last year in every single way. Last year I wore lululemon to school and danced with my students to Beyonce all day long.  This year I still wear lululemon, and I still dance to Beyonce, but my cool teacher points for doing so are lacking because I teach science and French now, not dance.  I appreciate the differences because I know they will make me a more well rounded teacher in the end; however, at least once a week I long to be back in the dance studio, rockin’ out with kids who just love to dance.

This is what I wore to school to teach in last year...best.
This is what I wore to school to teach in last year…best.

Current mantra… One more week.  One more week.

Plans for the break… Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.  And exercise.  And get some of my life back.  Since October 15th my life has mostly revolved around my classroom; I am looking forward to reading a book, uninterrupted, for pleasure (gasp!) and for doing what I want to do, when I want to do it.  I’m also 100% honest when I say I’m looking forward to no interaction with 13 year olds for two consecutive weeks.  I love my class, but we need a break from each other right now.  Also, my family is coming for Christmas and we are hosting! I’m very excited to host our first Christmas in our new house!

My fam is pretty awesome...looking forward to some quality time with them!
My fam is pretty awesome…looking forward to some quality time with them!

Goals for the new year… I intend to be more mindful in my teaching and planning.  Some of you who know me might be thinking, “Are you kidding me? You master the mindful!”  The truth is, I don’t.  I have much more work to do when it comes to mindfully planning for all my students.  To be fair with myself, this term was planned out before I really got to know my students, their work habits, and their likes/dislikes.  Next term I hope to keep in mind my most vulnerable learners because right now in class most of them are doing a whole lot of…nothing.  Time to teach these kids how to take ownership!

Karley