'Twas the night before school ...

It's the night before school starts and it amazes me that even after 9 years teaching I still get the back to school jitters. I know I am not alone in feelings of excitement, apprehension, and restlessness. The tangible and intangible drawing nearer - Are my introductory lessons prepared? How will they be received? Do I have all materials ready? How are the students feeling? What barriers will have to be overcome? How can I best make connections with these new individuals - based on trust, respect, kindness?

This year is slightly different, as tomorrow marks my first day teaching in the intermediate division. After a summer of reading and reflecting on overarching pedagogical practices, I am attempting to put a vision to life. Part of this reflection has included thoughts on how to establish community with students at this grade level. I made a conscious decision to leave the walls bare, desks pushed to the side, and chairs in a circle. It is my hope that together we can create a wonderful space for collaborative learning. Blogging has very much become part of my personal reflection and I want to share this with my students this year. I hope being open with them, sharing my mistakes and reaction to them, and showing vulnerability will have a positive impact on their sense of self and efficacy. The screen capture below highlights my thoughts to them as we begin this journey together. 


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