Ready to try something new?
“Teaching is one of the few professions that allows you to reinvent yourself every year.”
I heard Steve Leinwand state this in his 2012 keynote at the Richmond County GA STEM Institute, and almost a decade later, it still rings true.
Think about it! You can reinvent yourself every year.
In fact, we, as educators, can refresh and rejuvenate our classmates all year round. We can always take the opportunity to try new approaches with our students, resources, seating arrangements, supplies, and classroom environment.
What are the changes that will have the most impact?
When I attended my first Carnegie Learning Initial Implementation Workshop 15 years ago as a high school Algebra I teacher, I was intrigued by the amount of time our facilitator spent on team-building and non-math activities. After each activity, we spent time debriefing why those interactions were so important and meaningful in a Carnegie Learning classroom.
At the conclusion of the workshop, I knew I wanted that same environment for my students. I wanted my classroom to be a place where students felt safe to take risks, were encouraged to ask questions, and felt as though they had a teacher who was always an advocate for them. How do you build relationships with students before diving into the learning?
I recently came across this research finding from EdReports: “Teachers spend 7-12 hours per week searching for and creating instructional resources (free and paid), drawing from a variety of sources, many of which are unvetted.”
If you utilize available resources, you might find yourself making more efficient use of your time.
For example, what if you spent your time collaborating with your colleagues, doing mathematics together, and discussing effective ways to engage students in mathematical concepts? Strong, collaborative teacher relationships that are focused on student learning and quality instruction can be a true game-changer.
And for Texas math educators, you don’t have to worry about using unvetted, potentially ineffective instructional tools when you lean on Texas Home Learning. It has vetted and approved only the best options to support your students, including the Carnegie Learning Texas Math Solution aligned to TEKS and our professional learning services.
That’s right, I said it. Be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Brené Brown has even coined the phrase “FFT,” and for the purpose of this article, we will call it Fear of the First Time. If we want our classrooms to be places where students feel free to take risks and make mistakes, we must show our students that we are willing to do the same.
Even the thought of trying something new in front of a classroom full of students sounds terrifying, but a more important thing we want students to witness is how we persevere, adjust, and never give up on them or ourselves! Be that bold, courageous, vulnerable example for them.
If you are interested in learning more about how the Carnegie Learning team embraces risk-taking and rule-breaking, make sure to listen to our podcast, Rebels & Risk Takers .
Our professional learning team has the following vision statement:
We believe in educators.
We know they are the key to creating the next generation of great thinkers.
We make sure they never feel alone by creating personalized professional learning experiences that inspire, empower, and honor them.
Our sole purpose is to support you along your journey of creating the next generation of great thinkers. We acknowledge all of the hard work you have done over the past 18 months and we truly look forward to supporting you as you refresh and reinvent the math experience for your students moving forward!
[Originally published May 12, 2021; Updated October 4, 2021]
Cassie has been designing and facilitating impactful professional learning experiences at Carnegie Learning since 2007. She has partnered with districts like Dallas ISD; Frisco ISD; Santa Fe, NM; and Richmond County, GA. She has also facilitated student-centered mathematics classrooms as a high school math teacher, department head, and math coach. As our Regional Vice President of Professional Learning, she serves as a thought partner, coach, and mentor for districts across the country as they implement Carnegie Learning Resources and Professional Learning services.Explore more related to this author
Teaching is one of the few professions that allows you to reinvent yourself every year.