Ego vs. Vulnerability in the Classroom Arena

The Big Tent

The Upcycling DiariesEditor’s Note: This blog is the third post by Jennifer in the Upcycling Series about heading back to the classroom after time as an instructional coach. Join us in following her journey.

In the arena of education, I’ve learned to pay attention to how I grasp and assimilate new concepts. I pride myself on the idea that I’m a natural at applying insights to my own teaching practice. And there it is… my irrepressible ego. That’s my ego infiltrating and creeping up at the beginning of my blog. Always on alert. Always convinced that “I got this.” Always self preserving with an insatiable appetite.

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Backward Cycling


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Editor’s Note: This blog is the second post by Jennifer in the Upcycling Series about heading back to the classroom after time as an instructional coach. Join us in following her journey.

You can’t teach an old dog a new trick… or can you? This 16th century proverb has been circling around my head, haunting my mindset for far too many days this year. As an educator returning to the classroom, I am one-hundred percent completely inspired by Project Based Learning (PBL) and Creative Thinking. Yet as a veteran teacher, having had so many years of standards based training, I find myself falling back into old practices of focusing on content instead of process. Why is it so difficult to break out of my old cookie cutter mold and become the innovative educator I see in my mind’s eye?

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Classroom Jobs to Spur Inquiry


The Upcycling Diaries

Editor’s Note: This blog is the first post by Jennifer in the Upcycling Series about heading back to the classroom after time as an instructional coach. Join us in following her journey.

An empty classroom with towers of boxes welcomed my creative mind. I couldn’t wait to unleash last year’s learning, as a district math coach, on this year’s class. Utilizing my insights that grew from spending a year looking through the lens of a variety of stakeholders at the district level, I was ready to dive in to applying all that learning to my newly formed classroom. I knew that analyzing information through multiple perspectives had increased my critical thinking skills as an instructional coach, and I wanted to share those ideas and experiences with others. I had just spent an entire year developing my coaching practice using this strategy and I was pretty sure it would work for others.

 

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Transitions and the Art of Changing Roles


The Upcycling Diaries

Editor’s Note: This blog is the first post by Michelle in the Upcycling Series about heading back to the classroom after time as an instructional coach. Join us in following her journey.

As the school year approached, several emails found their way to my inbox that were set up for the district’s instructional coaches. I was simultaneously relieved and wistful. As I sent replies reminding people to remove me from the instructional coach list, I thought about the art of changing roles — what does it take?

My Role Changes

I started my career in Colorado on a year-round calendar. Our principal asked each of the four tracks to design a research-based track philosophy, effectively creating four “schools within a school.” My team, Track D, decided to loop with students. Four of the six teachers were new to education, so looping allowed us to get a sense of the curriculum, student learning progressions, and student social-emotional needs at each grade level. From that less than traditional beginning, I have embraced changing roles as a means of better understanding student growth and development.

 

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