Sunday, September 6, 2015

Who am I?

Yeah...this is going to be philosophical.....hopefully not deep enough for boots....

We all try to establish who we are. My blog title is "A 40 Something Teacher". My husband has been poking me because in a few short months that title will have to change....and it is not the "teacher" part that is changing.

On my Twitter account, there is a picture of me and Einstein. I am a lover of all things Einstein mostly because, like many of my students, "school" was not necessarily his thing...

I describe myself as a Weather Channel junkie. I love watching how nature acts.

My Twitter posts are pictures of the cat, the bird, my garden or my yard.(Oh and food...doesn't everyone post pictures of food?)

I have started a second Twitter feed that I hope to use to engage parents . It is following ACT (, SAT, FAFSA, Common Application, Naviance (our school district is starting to use this) the US Department of Education, Edutopia, a teacher from my district who posts classroom information, and our career technical school.

My email avatar is a jpeg that says "Failure is never an Option" and I believe that wholeheartedly.

Selecting a quote for my email signature is like a ritual. I always want it to say something about my character or beliefs. Some examples include:

  • "When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them but you won't come up with a handful of mud either" Leo Burnett
  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle
  • "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "I didn't get here by dreaming or thinking about it. I got here by doing it."  Estée Lauder, co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies
I have been told I am a digital immigrant working with digital natives.

I have been told I am a great teacher.

I have been told I am a mean teacher.

I think the best was last year when a student said, "Why do the students hate you so much? It's not like you are the worst teacher." I was flattered.

I am authoritative, meaning I believe in a well-defined structure where there are no unknowns. I tell my students, I am a fascist in my classroom...What's good for me is good for everyone.

I take Saturdays off of school. I try to do some house chores, though in my brain, my house is never clean enough. I also try to always do something fun with my husband to make up for the rest of the week. But on Sunday, I try to dedicate a part of my day (usually during the Browns game) to school work. (I love the Browns so it is a good diversion.)

It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to be a teacher so I call myself the queen of "change your major". It worried my parents, because they thought I was going to be a professional college student. (I kind of still am but don't tell them that. They are just happy that I paid for it myself)

I am in the 1st quarter of my 22nd year of teaching. I have seen the changing of the guard with central office administrators in all positions. I have seen principals and assistant principals come and go. I have seen the Ohio Proficiency tests, the Ohio Graduation tests, the PARCC tests (last year) and the AIR tests.

So who am I?
I believe I am a person who tries every day to help students see their potential. Sometimes this comes by being brutally honest. Sometimes this comes by being a cheerleader. Sometimes this comes by having very adult conversations with people who are riding that line between adult and adolescent. I believe it is important to like what you do and do what you like. I am lucky that what I like to do also pays money and if a student can find that thing, they too can be lucky.

(I feel like saying "I am teacher hear me roar", but that would be so 70's and you might not be old enough to understand the reference. Here is a link to the song lyrics I am Woman ,  If you take the word woman and replace it with teacher, you'll get the gist.)

Again...who am I?  I think we re-define ourselves constantly.  Today, I am a  40-something teacher. In a few months, I will be a  50-something teacher and there will be another decade of growth that will be defined by my roar.

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