Sunday, October 16, 2011

Before I Was a Good Teacher. Now I Hope I'm a Better One.

Before I had a class website where I posted information.  Now I have a class blog where we post items together and we (and the world) can comment on our posts.

Before my class website was used by the parents of my class. Now my class blog is looked at by people all around the world.

Before I talked about teaching and learning with the people that I worked with, my fellow teaching friends, and the people at the workshops I attended.  Now, through Twitter,  I'm having conversation with amazing educators from all over the world.

Before I told my students what to read. Now they chose what they want to read.

Before I felt we couldn't afford technology.  Now I'm finding ways to get it into my school.

Before I thought we could only have physical education when we were in the gym.  Now I know we can have it every single day.

Before I worked in isolation only sharing with my close friends. Now I'm sharing with the world.

Before I had no place for my students to write on-line. Now my students have their own individual blogs.

Before I told my students what to write. Now I let my students write about what's meaningful to them.

Before my students wrote in notebooks or on paper. Now they write where they want including their notebooks, papers, white boards, computers, blogs etc....

Before my students sat in their own desks and always did their work there. Now my students are free to work with whom ever, and where ever in the room they'd like (most of the time).

Before I didn't think my students could handle technology.  Now I know that they can.

Before my students went up and down during reading time constantly changing their books.  Now they have their own just right book box with books they are interested in reading.

Before I felt that I had to do what everyone else was doing.  Now I do what I believe should be done.

Before I told my students how many sentences to write in their journals.  Now I just encourage them to write.

Before I was afraid to bring laptops into my classroom early in the year.  Now I can't imagine not bringing them in.

Before I set goals for my students but they didn't know what they were.  Now we set goals together.

Before I kept the student's individual goals  private.  Now I share them quite openly.

Before I needed to be in control of everything that my students were doing.  Now I give my students a lot more freedom to explore while they learn.

Before I asked for student volunteers to share their ideas.  Now we turn and talk to one another so we all have a chance to share our ideas.

Before I taught the whole class to read at the same time.  Now I work with small groups, and individuals too.

Before my lessons in the computer lab were done in isolation.  Now what we do in the lab the children can easily do at home with the links provided on the class blog.

Before I was expecting everyone to do the same thing at the same time.  Now I'm differentiating my activities so everyone is doing their own thing at the same time.

Before I taught the whole class to write at the same time.  Now I work with small groups, and individuals too.

Before I just taught, never really thinking about what my individual students already knew or needed.  Now I use my assessment data to help structure my lessons.

Before I was a good teacher.  Now I hope I'm a better one.


  1. You so clearly stated what I've been trying to do with my classes this year. Thank you!

  2. Awesome, Karen! You are doing a great job in your classroom, teaching, inspiring, motivating, and communicating with your students, parents, other educators both locally and around the world. You were a great teacher before and you are (and will continue to be) an even better teacher now and in the years to come.

  3. Thanks Tracy and Tia. There are still a lot of things that I haven't changed because I still believe they are just as important as always. I think for me I tend to change and see how it goes, then change some more, then some more etc... Never an "easy" day. Karen

  4. What a fantastic blog post, Karen! I love the comments and your response too! You see the power in changing and you're willing to take a risk, change, and see what happens as a result. I love that, and I know that your students benefit as a result. I'm so fortunate to get to learn from you online. You are a WONDERFUL teacher!


  5. Thanks Aviva. You already know that I am truly inspired by the incredible things you are doing in your classroom. You also know that it is because I know what you do, that I continue to push myself to a better place as well. I look forward to continuing to learn and share with you too. Karen

  6. You are such a reflective lifelong learner, Karen. You so often inspire me with your enthusiasm and willingness to take risks.
    -Megan B.

  7. Thanks Megan and just so you know I love learning with and from you too! Karen