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edu180atl: lynnae boudreau 9.1.11

Taking Time

I am not a patient woman. My wide perfectionist streak and I like to get self and students in the groove quickly.

Yet, I find myself learning how to be patient. Call me an old dog.

This summer I worked as a mentor teacher with Breakthrough Atlanta, riding a learning curve with infinite slope. I’ve started a new school, with hiccups aplenty (how to take attendance?). I’m now used to not knowing what’s going on– it’s been freeing. I start to understand that good teaching can still occur when I don’t anticipate everything, haven’t planned a month of lessons, or don’t know all the technology (how to take attendance again?).

I take the lesson further, too, to my students. Usually I have a clear idea of where I want students to be at the end of the year with skills and reasoning abilities. The long view helps when it’s time to plan extra activities, but it also pushes me to keep a certain pace even in the fall. When I knew the flow in my previous school, that worked well, and I liked the rigor. But with a brand new set of students, and a different set of expectations, I can’t predict the pace. So, I go with a pace that students set. Later in the year I’ll assess the trajectory, but for now I can afford to take the time.

I can’t wait to see how well students do with the more relaxed me.

About the Author: Lynnae Boudreau teaches high school math.  Loves to learn with others. Always on alearning curve, often at sea, but that’s a good thing.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jane White #

    How exciting to read this. I wish you the best year ever, Lynnae.

    Your mom

    September 2, 2011
  2. Lynnae:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about starting new. New beginnings can be a great opportunity to focus on ideas that have been germinating for a few years. It seems like we can stretch those unused muscles that atrophy over time when we become too familiar with a setting, people, or a culture. I hope things continue to go well in the more relaxed setting of the new space.

    Bob Ryshke

    September 2, 2011
  3. Billie Mears #

    Lynnae,

    What a refreshing point of view! I’m learning right along with you here. Every day brings a new challenge, and change is the best way I know to stretch and grow. I love this relaxed way of learning along with my students and new colleagues.

    Billie Mears

    September 2, 2011
  4. Lynnae,

    Love to hear that “relaxed” tone in your writing and your being. I’m not terribly patient either (as you well know), but I know that holding on too tightly ruins the swing.

    Miss you so much, but delighted for you to be doing your good work in a space that will enable you to grow even more deeply.

    September 2, 2011
  5. Emily Ellison #

    Lynnae, beautifully and thoughtfully written, and I’m taking this to heart and striving for patience too. How lucky our students are to have you as a teacher. Welcome, welcome, welcome to AGS!

    September 3, 2011
  6. Jonathan Newman #

    Ahh, Lynnae. So glad you left a comment for me, because I wouldn’t have known you posted here. Interesting to hear you describe yourself as impatient. I think of you as determined and progressive, sure. But someone who hangs kites in her room can’t be THAT impatient. I imagine your new students are appreciating your groovy Berkeley self, and are coming to understand they’ve got quite the guide on that infinite slope.

    September 22, 2011

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