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Home : 2003 : Oct : 10

    Moving on...
    By Kathy

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    You sound like a wonderful, caring, conscientious teacher. In evaluating last year, you have to ask yourself some questions:

    1. Did I put in my best effort instead of trying to get by with the least I could do?

    2. Did I use every resource available to me instead of consistently refusing to do certain things because they were too much "extra work?"

    3. Did my children grow in self esteem and as learners last year?

    If you can answer yes, to all three of those questions, I believe you can consider last year a success! You can only do what you can do!! Don't compare yourself with another teacher or beat yourself up for what you didn't do.

    I think it's hardest for those of us that are overly conscientious. What has helped me over the years is to go into school each day and do the very best job I can do with the resources I have available and then go home feeling satisfied that I did my best. (You can't give more than 100%!)

    I've also tried to strive for excellence, not perfection. (The first is attainable, the second isn't!)

    It's still hard (even after 20 years) to be tempted to feel I'm not a success if they don't all love school or score on the 90th percentile on standardized tests! But the truth of the matter is you can't control all the aspects of a child's life and you have to work with what you're given!

    And I wouldn't worry too much about what the fourth grade teacher said. I know I've vented like that ocassionally--but it's really never targeted at the previous teacher. I recognize she did the best with what she had.

    Actually, your post made me realize I need to be much more positive and watch blanket statements like that as they can be potentially hurtful or discouraging to the previous teacher even when that wasn't the intention.

    So please don't be discouraged over last year. Sounds like you created a caring community of learners and what a wonderful thing for youngsters to have. Build on your strengths and learn from your weaknesses and you will continue to grow as a teacher.

    Have a wonderful year!!
    20+ years and still learning & growing!

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