Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Carol Walker

Grade: K, 2

Location: Newton, MA

Setting: Suburban

Years Teaching: 13

What has been your biggest challenge in teaching?

I think that the constant "being on" is a huge challenge in teaching. So many children bombard me with questions, answers, ideas, and wonderings, and it takes an enormous amount of energy to always respond in a caring and thoughtful way. There's also the constant decision-making, which is a challenge that doesn't stop at the end of the school day. When the children go home, I then begin the process of reflecting on my day and talking with my colleagues about the students, the school, and the system. There's very little "down" time in teaching.

Have you changed your approach to teaching?

When I think about change in teaching I think about all the minor adjustments that every good teacher has to make all the time. You cannot teach the exact same thing to every child every year -- you just can't do it. The kids are different, your presentation is somewhat different, and the material comes across differently each year. I'm constantly thinking about what I'm going to say, and how I'm going to say it. Those minute-to-minute changes are really crucial. And the way that I am informed and able to make those decisions has to do with how much I've been talking to my colleagues, what I've read recently, what I've heard, and what my second-graders have been saying to me. I process all those kinds of things. The minutia, the little bits of change can have a really big impact, and even though they may be very slight changes, they are informed by all of my professional life.

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