Treading water…barely

During my first year of teaching, a colleague told me the first year was all about keeping your head above water.  Year two, you make notes about what went well, and make modifications to things that didn’t.  Hang in there because year 3 was when you finally felt like you could breathe.

I knew changing schools and content would be challenging, and frankly, I really wanted that.  I’d been teaching Algebra I for 10 years and felt like I needed the challenge as I was in danger of getting burned out.  Well, I asked for it and I GOT it!  I am absolutely loving being at the high school and teaching older students.  It’s great to be thinking of different strategies for rationalizing denominators instead of integer rules for the millionth time, but I do feel like I’m back to year 1 and barely treading water.

The math department at the high school is awesome – we all eat lunch together every day, and since we do not have common planning time this is great.  It’s a supportive group of people and everyone is nice.  Seriously.  EVERYONE.  This is the first year the high school has implemented 1:1 Chromebooks, so I have enjoyed being able to share some resources with them (most had not heard of Desmos and only one was using Google Docs).

It has definitely been overwhelming learning new content and developing materials – I’m creating a lot of foldables (and a HUGE shout out to @mathequalslove‘s Sarah Hagan because her blog has been so helpful for Algebra 2!!).  I anticipated the content development would be time intensive, and knew I’d be putting in more hours at school.  My family has been so supportive.  God bless them for not complaining about me picking up dinner at times (I do fear they are weary of rotisserie chicken).

One aspect though that I really did not anticipate is how these new demands have impacted my time with my online PLC.  I barely have time to read my Twitter feed, much less contribute anything substantial.  I kept up with the #Teach180 Instagram posts pretty well for about five whole minutes (I do plan to do a better job with this – I enjoy the sharing, and really, surely I can find a few minutes a day to do this).  I miss Global Math and I miss math chats.  I miss the camaraderie, and collaborating over strategies and lesson ideas.  In trying not to post “I’m overwhelmed” every day, I haven’t posted a lot – I actually felt guilty today when I saw I had a new blog subscriber and thought how long it had been since I had blogged!!

Soooo, know that this is only temporary.  I’m hoping 2nd nine weeks will be more like year two, and by the third nine weeks I will be breathing more easily and a little more present in the online world.  I miss you all and can’t wait …but first, I need to grade 120 quizzes and figure out what I’m teaching tomorrow…

Advertisements

About merryfwilliams

High school math teacher and mom of 3 amazing kids. I have a high maintenance husky and am adding a knitting obsession to the juggling routine. @merryfwilliams on Twitter
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Treading water…barely

  1. That’s so awesome to hear of the new challenge and camaraderie among your math department! How did you keep up with your online PLC and lesson planning and grading with a family? I’m new to motherhood (as of July) and am wondering what coming back from maternity leave will be like. Would love your advice!

    • Congratulations to you!! I still remember vividly how chaotic things were when I had my first 🙂 Mine are older now, so that DEFINITELY makes a difference!! It is challenging when they need so much of your time 🙂 My advice would be to share where you can. Hopefully you have colleagues who are open to sharing resources so you do not have to create everything yourself. And don’t forget to take time for yourself – it seems impossible when you are already torn in so many directions, but it’s important to give yourself a little time to recharge when you can. Congrats!!

  2. Jamie@44 says:

    Hello @mrswilliamsmath,
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I’m an education student from munich and am about to become a math teacher. Your blog has been very helpful to me. But I’m afraid of my first experience with the students. Can you give me some advice for the beginning phase? How can I earn the trust and respect of my future students?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jamie

    • I think one of the hardest things to balance early on is a desire for the kids to “like” you and the importance of them respecting you. Build the relationships and students will trust and respect you when they see that you are invested in their success 🙂

  3. Jamie@44 says:

    Hello mrswilliamsmath,
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now. I’m an education student from munich and am about to become a math teacher. Your blog has been very helpful to me. But I’m afraid of my first experience with the students. Can you give me some advice for the beginning phase? How can I earn the trust and respect of my future students?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jamie

    • Laura123education says:

      Hello Jamie and hello to the whole community,
      just like Jamie I was an education student and during my study, I decided to become a math teacher. I shared the same thoughts and I was afraid too. But I’m sure everyone agrees that this is normal for a teacher without any experience.
      Just like @mrswilliamsmath I can recommend you this community. It’s very helpful and always remember don’t be afraid to ask anything that’s on your mind! We all can empathize what you’re going through right now.
      Thank’s a lot @mrswilliamsmath for your blog and for sharing your ideas! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I’m always looking forward to new posts. Keep it up!
      I wish you all the best and good luck with your upcoming work!
      Laura

  4. Hi Jamie, Best of luck to you as you begin your teaching career! If you are not already on Twitter, I would definitely recommend you join! There is a GREAT community of math teachers on Twitter — lots of sharing of resources and great discussion. The #MtBOS (Math-Twitter-Blog-O-Sphere) can help you connect with lots of educators – this kind of support is so helpful!!
    Good luck to you!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s