Sunday, December 8, 2013

What I control

Lately I have been doing a large amount of reflecting on what I control in a classroom (working from Whitaker's 14 things great teachers do ).  I cannot control what a student does outside my door very easily, heck, it is hard to control them within my room (from a desire to learn perspective - from a classroom management perspective I do okay).

I control myself, the relationships I make, the passion I bring to the room.  If my class is boring whose fault is that!  I know math can be dry -- but I don't have to be. I control my room, my relationships and expectations, the projects we do, and what the students find important.

I cannot control others in the building, or other schools, or in the community or in the state legislature, I can only make sure that I make an environment where my room is a sanctuary of learning the math skills the world requires of today's students.  I try and create a place where we do things the students need to know to succeed - sorry Smarter Balanced Test.   Where students don't strive for an artificial grade but for real skills, real problem solving - skills that will allow them to succeed beyond the walls of my school.  I don't teach math for students to play school but to gain the ability to be successful outside the walls of my room.

Those are the things I control.  And everyday I know I have to approach my room with a desire and fire.  What we do within my room is greatly important.  We work hard to skip merely good and go for great.

I control that.