Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

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coming up for air

March 7, 2011

Finally… I can breathe again!

This, my first year of teaching has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride thus far. Wow, I never knew it was possible for so much drama or to work so hard and yet still feel like I can’t win.

Right now I’m in the midst of a change that includes me giving up many of the duties I had held since the fall. Before I started down this path I recognized that the life of a Waldorf class teacher wasn’t likely to mesh with my ideals of balance and sustainability. Somehow I thought it would be different for me but this year at least, that has not proven to be true.

After months of trying to make things work and struggling to get mentoring I found myself out of energy and short on nerves – far from an ideal situation for the children or for me.

After taking a week to recollect and recenter I returned to school today, donned an apron and began my new routine. Now instead of stressing about parent communication and lesson plans I get to sit back a bit, observe, and put more focus on handwork. It also means I get some time for myself and can look into getting involved with more community events – both for the school and the community at large.

Fresh air never smelled so good!

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math geek

January 15, 2010

Okay, I don’t really think that’s me… Kevin is much more likely to fit that description but there might be a change brewing.

When I returned to school for the New Year we had a one week math course with a math professor/Waldorf parent and it got me all fired up about math. Then I learned that I would be with a middle school class during their geometry block, starting this week. The geometry I got in high school was easy enough for me to follow but it always seemed sooo dry and boring. Actually most of high school math was like that or missed me completely (I’m thinking the calculus we did with graphing calcuators – ugh).

After last week I was all excited about math, but concerned about the unfamiliar task of working with young adolescents and terrified about how to bring geometry in a way that would actually connect with them. I’m so thankful that I get to work with such a wise and sense aware mentor. I’m eating up all the new and interesting things I can learn about the golden section, compass and straight edge geometric constructions and the platonic solids. My head is spinning about all the cool things I need to investigate further and at the same time, I’m getting to experience some things that don’t usually come with math in school. Namely, looking at the golden section as used in art, exploring geometry with clay, leading meditative reflection, discovering the meaning of “new” words, finding an appetite for my own inner reflection and so much more.

And yeah, this math part… that piece about wanting to be a math teacher, the very thing that motivated me to even think about becoming a teacher so many years ago, is burning ever brighter within me. I love it and can’t wait for next week’s adventures!

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dare to change

January 29, 2009

I can’t remember how I discovered this book but I know it was back in August and it took 5 full months to get a copy.   My local bookseller thought they could get a copy but it was actually out of print.  An old copy of the book finally made it into my sweet little hands just before Christmas.  From all the reviews I read this was going to be “the” book so waiting drove me crazy.  I’m so glad I hung in there and I now feel it’s my duty to share my thoughts on this book.

I haven’t read it as quickly as I’d like because I can’t bear to read it in bed (this 18 year old book is bad news for my allergies).  Despite this I burned through 80% of the book before vacation.  Then I let it sit.

When I picked it up on the weekend it was even better than I remembered.  All that thinking I was doing last week about why it’s so important to leave was echoed in the pages I was reading.  This surprised me initially but then I remembered that this whole book has felt that way and it’s completely unlike anything else I’ve ever read.  It’s like having a heart to heart with friends who have grappled with the same dilemma and come out shining.  They’re not giving advice or telling you what to do, just sharing their stories.  When you’re in that place where you can’t figure out what’s wrong it can be really hard to talk about it and this book was just the ticket I needed to get started.

The book is essentially an analysis of the common threads the author has noticed in her work with people who have made life changing career moves to better align with their authentic selves.  She calls these folks questers.  Early on I could see how closely I related to these folks who value happiness and alignment over a big paycheck.  Yeah, that’s me, and  just like the folks Kanchier writes about I found myself off course.

I’ve been in a job that I pretty near hate for 4 years and was expected to return to this month.  From the very beginning I had thought about leaving but my doubts were equally large.  The day that I left I knew I didn’t want to go back but I couldn’t figure out what a more satisfying solution would be.   Fortunately the past year has allowed me the time to think about this and I finally have an answer.  I’m going to become a teacher; a Waldorf or at least Waldorf inspired one.

With my new found clarity and an extension to my leave I couldn’t be happier!  This book really has changed my life and it could quite possibly change yours too.