I was reflecting the other day on those events and methods that have had an impact on my teaching career so far and it was easy to see that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, was the birth of my son over 3 years ago. That was the day that I had a new focus in my teaching, making sure that I would be doing something in the classroom that I would want my own son to experience. I also want to help make sure that the school I am in, is a school that I want my son to be in. I am sure most teachers who are parents feel this way. This is even more important to me considering I am now in my 2nd year at the district my son will be in when he enters the K-12 system.
After he was born, and after we finally got sleep again, I started doing more and more research into the better practices being used in the classroom. I did a lot of research into standards based grading, mastery style classrooms and the flipped classroom. I wanted to make sure that I was using technology effectively and giving my students options. I wanted my students to feel like they owned their learning and were a major part of it, not just a passive bystander. I just wanted to have a classroom that my son would want to be in and would be proud of me for having.
This is not to say that I wasn’t thinking about all of this before. It was just that I was now doing it with more focus and energy than before. I would be home playing with him and my mind would race around trying to determine if my lessons were good enough and if my classroom was the best it could be. I was glad to be a part of so many committees and groups in my school as I thought I could help shape the future of the school to fit what I would think we need to be for my son and for so many other students.
I think that we need to make sure that this is a question that we are continually asking ourselves, Is our classroom and our school a place we want our children to be in? Would we be happy with the education they are receiving or would we want to make changes? How can we make sure that our children would be happy with their education and would be successful (however you define it) using that education?