2.19.2013

Renewed Motivation

I've been in a funk lately.  About everything, honestly.  I just haven't been feeling it lately.  I need to get out of my funk and move on.  I feel like I've been in a lot of little funks lately and can never fully get out before I get in another one.  It's just been that kind of year.  I don't know why, but I do know I don't like it.  I see all the other blogs and everyone seems to upbeat and cheerful and everything is roses and sunshine in their lives.  And then there is me.  I try to remember that we all go through these and people put up good fronts and others are just freaking rays of sunshine all the time.  Then I feel a little better.  But I'm trying hard to get out my funks.  They seem to be plenty.  :(

Anyway, I went to a meeting today at our district for Common Core for Math.  As first grade teachers, we will be responsible for teaching CCSS in Language Arts and Math next year.  Our kinder teams are supposed to be working on it now.  I say supposed to because they were talking today that some teachers haven't quite embraced the whole CCSS thing yet.  We are jumping in next year whether we are ready or not.  We met today, one teacher per site, to re-do our benchmark standards for each semester and then to work on the actual benchmark test.  The pacing guide will be coming later, because we work ass backwards in everything we do!

It was quite interesting to hear what others had to say about their kids.  My kids are not high by any stretch of the imagination, but they are hard workers and they "get it" eventually.  It may take some time, but they can learn it.  But, knowing that the new CCSS standards are nationwide (or almost nationwide), we can' go by what the lowest child knows.  Some teachers could not get off the "my kids don't come in knowing that" and "I don't want to test that then...how about in the summer" thing.  We never get perfect classes where all the kids come in perfect and know everything they are supposed to know, but that's why it's our job to teach them!  Yeah, we have to back track and cover some kinder skills, but we do it and we move on.  Some people can't move on.  Or they think it's too hard and they don't want to set high expectations for their kids.  We have sites that range from the lowest of the lows to the highest of the highs.  We have to make it work for all kids.  And with the new standards, I think they can.  But we need to figure them out. 

In the past, we have had what feels like a million standards to cover.  We have time and money and counting and patterns and shapes and greater than and less than and.....you get the idea.  Quite a bit is going away with the new standards, but people are still hung up on the "but when do we do this".  It's going to take time to move on from that.  And, the crappy thing is, our testing program we use still has the old standards and does not have any of the new CCSS in the test bank.  So we have to use old icky questions for the new learning.  Sounds perfect, huh?

On Sunday night, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at stuff for math for common core.  With the exception of all the stuff on TpT that I can't afford to buy, I found some really good ideas that I hope to use or tweak for my use next year.  I am hoping to stay motivated all the ret of the year to work on what we need to do for next year along with still teaching the "old standards" for the remainder of the year.  In August, we will go "live" with Common Core whether we are ready or not.  And I know I am not ready.  Which is just one more thing that can get my in a funk if I'm not careful!  But, I am excited about doing something new and being able to make and create new things.  The facilitator today said that this is a time to do away with all the old and bring in the new.  I liked that.  A good idea for all of us to go with...throw out the old stuff we've been doing forever because we don't have to plan it anymore and bring in some new things to try and experiment with.  I think that will be my goal for the rest of the year.  Try one new thing a week/unit and toss out something I have done many times! 

Next week I will be back at the district office for the Language Arts meeting.  I wonder what fun and exciting ideas that will bring!?  Happy Tuesday!

3 comments:

  1. Kristen,

    I love your blog. It's one of those that I read often. All I can say about Common Core is, don't worry. New York must be just as backwards as California... we are fully implementing CCLS this year with no new anything. In our district, we are rewriting curriculum maps and assessments this year and I'm still not sure what I'm teaching next week. Somehow, in New York, our state assessments (ELA and math grades 3-8) will be completely Common Core this year. That has lots of people worried. I think the moral of the story is, "hang in there." It's been tough to be a teacher this year. Just remember: we work hard with all of our first graders to do the best we can for them. We know where they begin, where they need to go, and we do everything we can to get them there. It's all that we can do. And we have to remember to take it one day at a time.
    Hope you can get out of your funks soon.

    Take care,
    Sandy
    PS - It snowed 6 inches here today. I always enjoy hearing about your weather, too. :)

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  2. Kristin, so glad I read your post! I'm in quite a funk, too. Yesterday was a much better day, but then the funk was back today. I'm sometimes too left sitting at home wondering how everyone is SO happy. So, it's nice to know you're not the only one in a funk. Hang in there!!!!

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  3. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I've fallen back into a bit of a funk too. It sometimes seems as though many other people enjoy their days more than I do lately. I hope we both feel better soon.
    --Chrissy

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