Term 1 Reflections

28 Apr

Wow – I can’t believe how much I have been struggling to write this post! School holidays are all but over and I have been feeling a serious lack of inspiration.  This has confused me because the last 10 weeks have been incredibly thought provoking – I expected that my brain would have been bursting with things to write about.  After some reflection I put this case of writers block down to my poor brain just needing a break.  I knew teaching would be hard work; I knew I would be physically and emotionally exhausted but I underestimated just how much it would wear me out mentally.

I have never been great at switching my brain off.  If I am focused on something it is usually all I talk about, think about and dream about.  School has been no exception.  So there is Goal #1 for term 2 – find something to take the focus off school work.  Even if only for half an hour.  I love knitting, have just begun sewing and adore baking and reading.  My goal for term 2 is to spend at least 1/2 an hour every day doing something totally UN-school related.

Sewing Project

Goal #2 Believe in myself.  By week 3 of term 1 I exclaimed to my poor husband – “I CAN’T BE A TEACHER!”.  I felt so completely hopeless and as though I had failed to “become” the teacher I wanted to become.  I know you’re all thinking ‘excuse me, you only gave it 3 weeks!?’ and I totally agree (in hindsight).  I placed expectations on myself to be better than everyone expected me to be, and along came a whole heap of unrealistic goals.  My wise and wonderful team leader kept reminding me “give it til Easter, you’ll feel more on top of it by then” and thankfully – she was right.  Good thing I didn’t throw in the towel at week3.

As I look back at term 1 I realise that I actually was very successful in beginning to become the teacher I want to become.  I formed relationships with my students (some came more easily than others), I created a classroom environment in which students who initially shied away from risks are now eager to ‘have-a-go’ and I engaged enthusiastically with my team as we navigated our new composite class structure.

In this first term I have discovered something.  I have discovered that I am a good teacher – not because of years of experience or my nerdy nature.  I am a good teacher because I am surrounded by caring, supportive, proactive colleagues and peers, who push me to believe in myself, challenge myself and remain accountable for the teacher I want to become.  Goal #3 Continue to help other graduates remain accountable for the teachers that they are becoming as we support one another along the way.



16 Responses to “Term 1 Reflections”

  1. Adrian April 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Great Term 1 reflection and positive goal setting. Just keep remembering that if it’s easy then you’re probably not doing it right, progressing, developing, learning or engaging enough. Anything at uni was hard because you didn’t know it. I know teachers that have been teaching for decades that continue to push themselves to be better and that’s what inspires me to grow and develop.

    All the best and good luck with round 2…erhm oops I mean Term 2 😛

    • Mrs Wansink April 29, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      Thanks Adrian. I am happy to say I am still feeling very passionate about becoming the best teacher I can possibly be and I hope that I can learn to maintain that attitude even when things get busy and stressful 🙂 Bring on term 2 🙂

  2. mummawoosah April 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Well done on getting through Term 1! I’ll be picking up tips from you(ok for the almost 5yo who starts school next year:) love the insight! The almost 5yo’s preschool teachers are such a massive part of our lives, I’m looking forward to reading from ‘the other side’ 😀 Maddy

    • Mrs Wansink April 30, 2013 at 6:35 am #

      Thanks Maddy 🙂 I hope you find it interesting! The first few years of school (for us teachers as well as the kids) are so incredibly special 🙂

  3. Mel the Literacy Coach May 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Hey Sami, Great to see you are reflecting and heading into the new term with a positive outlook. Good luck with your goals. That “half an hour doing something unrelated to school” is going to be tough but is also sooo important for your sanity. I hope you enjoyed your holiday.
    Mel 🙂

    • Mrs Wansink May 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      Thanks Mel 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your holiday too and are feeling more settled in at your school this term.
      Yeah I’m not sure if it’s a realistic goal but so far I have managed, I’m hoping that if I start off my career that way then I will develop good habits.

  4. Paula May 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

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  5. Paula July 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

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  6. Mel the Literacy Coach July 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Hey Sami,
    I have noticed you haven’t posted for a while and I am really interested in reading about how your second term went. Did the “half an hour of time for yourself” happen? I’m guessing, perhaps not. I hope it was great and you are well. Check in and let us know how it’s going… good or bad… Also, if my calculations are correct, you are about to head into term 3?! I wish you good luck with it all!! And, I will be checking in often to see how you are going.
    Mel 🙂

    • Mrs Wansink July 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      Hi Mel,
      Thank you for your encouragement… Sometimes I’m not able to distance myself enough from what is going on at school to be able to reflect properly and write about it. Haha, the “half an hour”… I certainly tried and I think I improved on Term 1, I will keep working on it 🙂 Have started sewing a quilt and I’m also teaching myself to crochet 🙂 I am designating tomorrow to organising the blog 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me again!
      I hope school is going well for you and that you enjoy doing the numeracy role as well as the English, sounds like an exciting time.

      • Mel the Literacy Coach July 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

        You are very welcome, Sami. I totally understand how difficult it can be to distance oneself from the happenings at school. However, I have often found that writing a post helps me to step back from things in a way that I wouldn’t do if I wasn’t writing about it. On the other hand, I don’t post as often as I would like, because it is hard to find the right words or even decide on the direction that a post needs to go for my purposes. Despite all this, writing about my teaching and learning has been a very positive experience for me.
        Hang in there!

  7. Olivia November 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    your bog has inspired me to create one of my own, I am a new graduate and I love the way you have used it for your reflection and to help other people who are in the same boat as you. I would love to invite you to check out my blog (while it is only just new) and maybe we could support each other through the ups and downs of the teaching world!

    Olivia xx


    • Mrs Wansink November 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

      Hi Olivia, 🙂

      I have found it hard to keep up with the posts during my first year of teaching and am so pleased to hear that I have still managed to encourage someone despite this 🙂 I’d love to follow your blog and hear about your journey. All the best with your teaching 🙂

      Mrs Wansink

      • Olivia November 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

        Don’t be discouraged you will soon have the christmas holidays and I am sure you will do a wonderful reflection about the year. I look forward to hearing more about your teaching experiences as well.
        Happy Teaching!

  8. Mel the Literacy Coach November 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Hey Sami,
    It’s good to know you have survived so far! You are almost there. The first year is definitely the hardest and you are nearly through. Hang in there and Remember that you are only human. 😀 I hope everything is going well. Check out my latest post for some tips on keeping your kids on track in the last few weeks, but more importantly, take care of yourself.
    Mel 😀

    • Mrs Wansink November 29, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      Thanks Mel – these last few weeks seem to be dragging but I think I’ll make it.

      I have had a wonderful year and learnt so much – I do wish I had written more posts throughout the year but I think I’ll have lots to write about over the holidays (so much reflecting to be done).

      Thanks for your post, it’s really helpful!

      Enjoy your last few weeks and have a wonderful relax and unwind during holidays 🙂


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