Last week (well actually more like the end of the week before…) my students and I celebrated International Dot Day by watching/listening to the story, “The Dot”, by Peter H. Reynolds, discussing the importance of giving things a try, and starting somewhere to see where things go. As I was planning the lessons for it I thought, “What a great lesson for the students! Such a fabulous way to introduce growth mindset in Arts Ed!” And I was right! The students really enjoyed the story and the chance to be expressive, and we got to use a cool app too!
What I didn’t realize at the time was that the story was really an inspirational message for me too!
So far in this, my first year of teaching, I’ve been trying to focus on what I’m teaching the students and trying to get them set up for lessons and units I want to begin. I’ve been trying to get in a groove and to keep my head above the proverbial water, trying to stay afloat in the madness of teaching 14 different classrooms across 8 grade levels 5 different subjects. I’ve been trying to make an impact with what I teach, but at the same time be realistic. Other teachers try to help, offering units or resources, but ones that I’d still have to adapt to suit my teaching style or an end goal that I had in mind. The trouble is that thoughts just keep swirling around and I just feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Enter the lesson from “The Dot”: Just make a mark and see where it takes you! I’m beginning to realize that the key to making it through is just to take an idea, and see where it goes. I’m still trying to take in bits and pieces of advice that others care to offer, but I’m realizing that I need to make my own mark with my own ideas and try new things! Sure, my internship last fall gave me many opportunities to try all sorts of things, but since none of the subjects and almost none of the grades are ones I’ve taught before, in some ways I’m back to teaching like I did in internship as everything is brand new. It’s all about discovery, learning, and making a mark; trying something to see where it takes me.