Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 44- I as a Teacher- Self Commitment

For reference read the other blogs regarding this topic:

Day 42- I as a Teacher- Self Reflection
Day 43- I as a Teacher- Walking the Points

Since my last blog I actually started another job in a PreK room and have been having great staff support. I have also gotten the chance to be me from the perspective of setting up the classroom environment and stepping up as a lead teacher. The job is still not in a school (which is my goal), so there are some restrictions as it is a daycare center and the director has certain expectations of how she wants the room to look like but at least I have been able to be part of having a say in it.

So here I am going to walk some self commitment points referring to the previous blogs and will be writing more about my upcoming as a teacher as I move myself to becoming an experienced teacher within all aspects that involve being a teacher.

I commit myself to speak up when I see that I am being bullied from another person and I commit to not allow that other person to define me as a teacher or anything else for that matter.

I commit myself to stop and breathe when I see myself getting upset over thinking of the time I allowed myself to be bullied by that teacher- and instead bring myself to back to self and to my writing I have done regarding this point of anger and fear.

I commit myself to accepting guidance and assistance from other teachers however with the starting point of being given an advice which I will take into consideration rather than allowing the guidance and assistance to shape me as a teacher. It is time I shape myself.

I commit myself to attending workshops and trainings designed to assist teachers with professional development and ideas so that I grow as a teacher and be able to try different ways and approaches to being a teacher.

I commit myself to move myself with patience as I am a new teacher and to be open to new ideas as long as I don't let those ideas to define me as a teacher, but rather use the ideas to experiment and see what works best for the students, me and other staff.

I commit myself to breathe and move breath by breath- as being a teacher in the current money/educational system is not an easy job, in fact it can be very stressful if one does not have the needed support and assistance- so taking it one breath at the time.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 43- I as a Teacher -Walking the Ponts

Continuing from my last blog Day 42- I as a Teacher - Self Reflection

"So I am walking a few points actually- the fear, anger reaction and my definition of who I am as a teacher and to learn how to handle a future situation like this without reaction- in stability".

Lets look at the point of fear and anger towards that teacher. The way I experienced myself when it was time to walk into the room for my PM Pre-K session was shortness of breath, crawling into a shell and not wanting to be seen. Every step I took towards that room was a step I wanted to take back towards my office. For the first 15 minutes the other teacher was in the room (with whom I did not experience the same feeling as with THE this one even though they both had their way of bullying me) so I felt a bit more open and free to try out different things with the students. When THE other teacher came in after her lunch break....the moment that door opened and I knew it was her coming into the room, my heart would jump. I would have to be with her for the next 2 hours. I knew she was not going to help me and when the class got out of control she would not back me up, and if I was to try something new she would cut me off saying I was not supposed to do this and that...The moment she walked into the room I closed myself up, I did not even want her hearing me when I spoke to the children, I wanted nothing to do with her. I did not know how to handle the situation. I never felt disrespected like that in my life. I was and still am angry at that woman when I think of her. I am angry that someone has the nerve to treat another person like trash.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to ever let another person bring me down, bully me and define me.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to hide in confrontations by being quiet and passive, by not standing up for what is common sense, for not investigating what the common sense in the situation is and directing the point from there.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing fear and anger to grow within me and direct the expression of my physical body.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be so occupied with the fear and anger that I would not allow myself to enjoy the students (even if they were acting up) and direct my anger onto them, where I would be less patient with them and I would get frustrated. 

Now lets look at the next point- who I am as a teacher that I have allowed to manifest in general through my experience so far as well as through the experience with THE teacher. As mentioned the Day 42 blog, I have always expected for my hand to be taken and for someone to guide me through and by having that very expectation I am showing to myself that I ma depended on other teachers/supervisors to lead me and tell me what to do, and who to be as a teacher. When THE teacher did not support me and back me up I had no foundation ground to stand on because I did not know what to do....I expected her to guide me just like the previous teachers have done in the past....I did not take the initiative to walk into the room and take charge so to speak- because I felt insecure/unstable about taking charge.
I am not excusing her bullying behavior of course, however I do have to reflect on how I accepted and allowed her bullying behavior to shut me down and closed my growth as a teacher.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be defined as a teacher by other teachers whether that is through holding my hand and guiding me (defined as the positive experience) or through stabbing me in the heart (as the negative aspect of that experience). And if we look at both polarities I see that the positive one actually created the negative. I had built a dependence point with the positive only to be crushed down by the negative.

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have have my hand held and being passive as to what goes on in the room as in "I don't know better", instead of stepping up and taking charge of the room with the students, finding out what needs to be done in the room and if it's not from THE teacher, then someone who will cooperate with me. 

I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to be dependent not just in the teacher realm, but in my every day realm where I have become depended on others to move myself, motivate myself- this will be for another topic, and even though I have covered it before at some point- it needs to be readdressed until the point is cleared up.

Bottom line is, aside from how I allowed myself to be defined by THE teacher, this environment was not a supportive environment for me as a person and a teacher. When team work was not established between us- it affected the environment with the students creating a stressful situation for all of us. Thus I am not longer at that position....however I am preparing myself for similar situations and I as a teacher!

Next post Self Commitments.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 42- I as a Teacher- Self Reflection

Today I want to address me as a teacher as there is a point I need to walk regarding how I see myself as a teacher and how I have been allowing myself to be defined as a teacher based on how other teachers shape me. When I was acquiring my degree as an Early Childhood Educator I had to do 100 hours of observation. So certain classes I took had the observation requirement. The placement was organized by the university. I got to observe K-3rd grade. Then I had my student teaching that took place in 2nd grade and Pre-K. During this whole time I was to be observing, learning methods of teaching and placing those methods in practice.

The student teaching was the big deal because I had to gradually take over the classroom for full two weeks- being the teacher in the class. I was to get feed back on what I can do better and what I am already doing better.  That meant taking lots of criticism by my professor who came to observe me teach as well as my co-operating teacher who was there to guide me. I, of course, took the criticism/guidance and tried to fix that which I was told I did wrong with ways that the teacher thought I should be doing things because after all it is her classroom. Now, I am not saying that I did not need the assistance, of course I was not aware of many things I may have been doing "wrong". My mistake was that I really took this into me and made it my starting point to shape myself as a teacher so I built a dependence on a professional teacher to tell me what I should do and how I should do it. In terms I did not have a solid/stable ground to bring myself up to the table and start establishing myself as a teacher, seeing what I wanted to utilize from what I have learned as an expression of self. The feeling I experienced was that of floating and not knowing what I was doing, feeling like I was less than the professional teacher (that is a teacher who has taught for many years and has established a way of what works for her/him and the students). I never truly had the time to experiment with what works for me and the students. One of my biggest issue that causes insecurity within me about being a teacher is classroom management- addressing the students in particular. I am familiar with many ways but somehow those ways don't work for me and sort of go against how I want my classroom to be. So there is an inner confliction when I was using those methods (that is for another time of discussion).

So then I got hired on my first job post graduation as a certified teacher in a pre-k room- and I felt completely thrown off. And as we at Desteni say- everything that one needs to face will be placed in a position so that we can face ourselves. Another words that which you need to face will manifest in your world so that you can face it. And it will keep happening over and over and over until it is faced and dealt with. Also every person out there that you have a reaction towards is showing YOU a piece of yourself that you need to work on (in a reflection). Sure enough, my first challenge came up. My position required me to supervise 4 other teachers. I will not get into the specific details of the position as they are irrelevant, but the one relevant thing was that we were supposed to work in a team in order to create a safe and learning environment for the children. Two of the teachers were simply rude towards me in sneaky ways (which is their responsibility to face) and the result was that I was not able to build an effective relationship with them. That however is beside the point. I am here to talk about what that experience showed me about myself and what I still have to face.
This position simply reflected my insecurity-instability about being a teacher in practice. I was unstable with my starting point which caused insecurity and then when I was not supported by my team I broke down and was not able to handle standing up for myself and even worse I let them define me as bad teacher and not good enough. That resulted in fear as a reaction to them and then that fear turned into anger. So I am walking a few points actually- the fear, anger reaction and my definition of who I am as a teacher and to learn how to handle a future situation like this without reaction- in stability.

Next blog- Walking the points!