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My Own Style

Last week, my friend, Barb, took several of our new reading teachers to visit the classroom of a local reading-teacher-extraordinaire.  Before she left, I asked her to take pictures…lots of them.

This gentleman has an advertising background and is known for his creative reading stations.  He takes the kinds of worksheets and printables used in elementary and middle school, upgrades them, if you will, and makes them into educational, yet fun, activities for his students.

Barb texted the pictures to me a day or two later, and let me tell you that with every picture that came through, my excitement grew…

As did my lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy.

Honestly, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how this guy, who holds down a part-time job on top of being a reading-teacher-extraordinaire, finds the time to do everything and be so fabulous in the process.

I had myself a bit of a pity party and soaked my sorrows in a hot shower.

And that is where some deep thoughts hit, as they always do when I’m in my cove of warmth.

I realized that my strengths do not lie in creative, cut-out ideas.

Nope.

I’m not much of a scissors kind of gal.

My strengths lie in technology.

My previous work experience is in computer trouble-shooting and computer teaching.

I love it when I come across new ways to inspire kids to learn by tapping into an interest they currently have…all things technical.

Hence my recent attachment to Edmodo and the NY Times learning blog.

I also recently discovered Flipboard, thanks to my non-technical-but-quickly-learning friend, Barb.

In that “aha” moment, I was reminded that, while it’s good to get ideas from others, I can (and should) use the interests and talents that God blessed me with to put my own twists on what others share.

That is what makes me unique…what makes all teachers special in our own way.

I’ve spent a lot of the last two and a half years trying to mold myself into miniature versions of other amazing teachers I’ve observed instead of refining the things that make MY classroom activities special.

Does that mean that I won’t ever use the reading-teacher-extraordinaire’s ideas?

Nope.

In fact, if I’m in a pinch, you better bet your last buckaroo that I’ll steal his ideas cut for cut.

BUT, I’m going to work a little more on allowing myself to be ME in my classroom.

Having my own style sounds pretty good to me!

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