Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What is this feeling I am feeling inside?? Excitement?

I am just going to be frank here. I have taught two years, and I have never been truly “excited” for school to start. Of course, this is contrary to what I have said when people asked me, “Are you excited for school to start?” I always gave a big, fat “Yes”. Sorry.

The first year, I was just nervous out of control to be truly excited. The second year, I had kind of a big thing going on (I got married), and when school came rolling around again, I felt completely unready. What have I learned? I learned the feeling of being ready is a rare feeling in teaching for me.  The feeling of being 100% ready is a never. I can spend hours upon hours trying to establish the ins and outs of the lesson, the demands I am making of my students, the anticipated problems and questions the students will encounter, the connections to be made … You need to jump in with the best preparation job you can muster.

This year, I can say honestly- I am excited and ready to just jump in. Here are some reasons why:

1.)    I am blogging this year. During the summer I have started to follow several awesome blogs. Today, I just read at about a BLOG INITIATION where I hope to extend my stealing and sharing web even more. I cannot speak more highly of samjshah and how he has impacted my teaching. Good bye to teaching in isolation and regular nights of labor to birth ideas and projects (graphic I know, but it can be ugly). Hello huge network of teachers to exchange ideas. I already have two great new project ideas that I took from other  blogs.

2.)    I just finished my STEM Externship experience, and we had a last get together yesterday in Des Moines. From this conference I have learned about Iowa’s FIRST Tech Challenge where students work with designing programs and building a functional robot. There is more information at If you are in Iowa, Rockwell Collins, an aerospace, communications technology, and defense company, is providing support for newby companies. There is the applications and information at  At the beginning of the year I am going to get kids on board as soon as possible, and if there is interest I will be applying for the Rockwell Collins FIRST robotics grant. My students will learn to be producers of technology. I do not think there can be anything not exciting about robots.

3.)    I get a $150 stipend for my classroom this year, a generous gift from the STEM Externship program I participated in this summer. I am thinking about using that money to purchase items for building mini wind turbines in the classroom. I was directed to Kindwind I will start looking into this. I find the idea of my students doing the work with me to figure out wind turbines a very exciting prospect.

My goals are starting to seem a bit overwhelming. I have the initiative, however, and am mentally preparing for the follow through. Gah! I have so much to do!! I definitely don’t miss this feeling. Again, there is no true feeling of “I feel ready and completely prepared,” so that only leaves excitement now.

Before I start anything, I will finish up my summer goals that ends with me creating 10 new calculus videos for my flipped classroom. This week I will focus on nothing else. Success will be mine.

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