Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect part 2

I have always wanted to become a wise person.   I view wise people as respected, knowledgeable, and most importantly, at peace.  I've always strived, though very often unsuccessfully, for peace.   Now that I'm not a spring chicken, I'm looking forward to that wisdom I've always assumed comes with "older" or more mature age.   But I've just come across some new information that changes my whole philosophy on wisdom.

Not all old people are wise!  As I observe others at the upper spectrum of the age continuum I see a lot of people less wise, and with definitely less peace than I have.  As I researched this dilemma, I found I believe, the answer to all my questions.  The answer I really wish I would've discovered many, many years ago.   Wisdom comes with experiences and reflection on those experiences.  It also comes with a lot of trial and error.  But when you make a mistake, you must take time to reflect.  You must think about what caused the mistake and what can be done next time to avoid that same mistake.  You must analyze the situation and look at all the variables.  This is the formula for wisdom.  Now I know I didn't come up with these "words of wisdom" on my own.  I have been reading a lot of books lately and at the moment I can't recall where I read and reflected to become so wise sounding, but it could have come from the Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck,  Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind by Eric Jensen, or maybe even the Bible.   When I figure it out, I will let you know.

But as of now, I know why I am so happy in my classroom.  I have peace and I am definitely increasing my wisdom.   These past three years during my employ as a Common Core Demonstration Teacher I have been given the luxury of time.   Because I am paid extra days and hours, I have time to analyze and reflect on all aspects of my teaching.  I carefully look at my students, their needs, their abilities, their wants.  I analyze the Common Core standards and discover what exactly a fourth grade student should come to class knowing and what they need to learn.  Then I reflect on this information and create lessons specifically tailored to these students.  After the lessons I again reflect, just like in the previous post on what went well, and what needs to be changed and how.  This I realize, as I reflect in this entry, is why I have so much peace in my classroom.  I am becoming wise!   Or maybe more appropriately said, wiser... Too bad I didn't gain this valuable insight when I was a 25 year old teacher!

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