So this is my eleventh year teaching art at Ridgely Middle School.
I can hardly remember what it felt like to be a new teacher… a bit worried, stressed, and anxious….
About how the students would respond, if they would understand the process, and if they would be as excited as me about it all…
About my performance and how my administration would evaluate me, and see me as a teacher. Would I be good enough?
Eleven years later…
I can say I am definitely more confident in my teaching, and in my students abilities to learn. This comes from a combination of time spent in the classroom, trial and error, a supportive team of teachers in my building as well as an amazing Visual Arts office in my county, and from a total mindset shift.
Obviously as a new teacher, one has NO IDEA what they are truly in for.
Especially in the day in age where we were transitioning from analog to digital.
I started teaching in 2008…
When we still used TV’s and DVD/VHS players.
When we wrote objectives as “The students will…”
When we used Easy Grade Pro and had to put our grades in ourselves.
When there was one desktop computer and students had to go to the computer lab to look up references.
Life has changed so much…
We have morning announcements streaming in real time on the computer
We now write objectives as “I can and I will…”
We use Schoology and all of our grades are kept online and transferred for us.
Every student has their own computer!
The mindset shift is not only from analog to digital, but from thinking about how I should be teaching… to teaching from the authenticity of who I am. Incorporating my own personal journey and passions into my classroom have really changed the whole atmosphere. The students are more comfortable and excited to come to class since I have started teaching authentically instead of teaching from expectations.
I love seeing and being apart of the shift in our public education system. Baltimore County Public Schools is one of the forerunners for leading our students into 21st century digital creative authentic learning.
Now I no longer worry about how my students or administration will respond to my instruction, as I know I am facilitating a safe and powerful space for my students to creatively learn and express themselves authentically. I am teaching them to live authentically … and that is the best lesson anyone in this world could learn.
Here is to my eleventh year teaching and to all the learning, growth, and fun that will come this year!
Migwetch and Gi’zaagi’in