The New Year: A New Approach

I’m only working for ten weeks this school year.

What a strange way to start the year; knowing that shortly I will be leaving on a maternity leave! It sure has changed my process when starting up my classroom. This year, rather than coming up with long-term plans, unit plans, seating plans and every kind of plan with myself and students in mind, I have been forcing myself to also consider the teacher that will take over my role in nine short weeks and debating how I can best set them up. It is a very bizarre feeling to question every piece of paperwork and plan that I write. I feel like a student listening to my inner English teacher repeating, “Consider your audience.”

Add to that, two new colleagues, both new to teaching in our district and new to our unique program and, suddenly the already collaborative nature of our little two room school has shot up 100%! I’m being forced to consider Person ‘A’ who has not yet been hired, Person ‘B’ who is brand new to our district and Person ‘C’ who is completing her first year of teaching after many years in our district as an EA.  Wowza, three distinct  needs. Good thing we have our rock, Lorrie our EA on our team. It is fascinating to have a new perspective after three years of the same team.

I wish everyone had this opportunity. In the week that I have been back at the school, I believe that I have said, “Well, last year we…” a million times. The more interesting thing is that it is usually followed by an explanation of the past policies and then a, “but we could…” and “…what do you see happening…” This new challenge has forced me to question our past ways of doing things and become more creative and open to change. That is awesome and refreshing.

We often talk about developing our “teacher leaders”. This is truly happening at Brightbank this year. I am honoured to step up as a leader and am even more privileged to work with such a creative team with varied and rich backgrounds. I’m saddened that it will only last another nine weeks, but I will enjoy our brief time together. I can only hope that the person coming in for the eight month leave will find joy in our strong and collaborative team.

A new perspective can be so awesome.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stephJ
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 14:55:49

    Great post! I love how you have such a positive outlook. I remember the year I was going on Mat Leave in November, it was the best two months of teaching I ever had experienced. I didn’t have my own class, except for the first two weeks when I subbed in the grade 7 French. After that I subbed, floated around, mentored new teachers for the next month and a half. It was so freeing and I got to see a lot of the school and kids, it was a great experience. I hope yours is just as positive, but hopefully you won’t have to teach grade eight Health (yup, the Sex Ed unit!) when 8 months pregnant LOL! That was a funny experience, though!


    • Melissa Everitt-Dallinger
      Sep 04, 2011 @ 16:05:10

      I taught grade 4/5/6 Health, (the sex ed unit) while 7 months with my first! You are right, it is a very funny experience! Thanks Stephj – it seems like it is starting out so positive and the change in perspective is awesome!


  2. georgecouros
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 20:13:48

    Love the focus you have Melissa 🙂 Keep doing great things!


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