If I could time travel I would do one thing. This post is about that one thing.
Since everyone knows that when you travel back in time you can’t change anything because of the butterfly effect, this limits my choices to instances where I could simply be an observer. What would I want to observe? Would it be a famous event like the Gettysburg Address or the “I Have a Dream” speech? Would it be something small like when my parents met or my first day of school? No.
I decided I would want to observe myself as a first year teacher. The reason for this comes from the advancements in technology that are making classroom filming more accessible and convenient, including this little gem.
I would want to look at the routines I used in the classroom and my line of questioning during lessons. I remember the lessons, projects, and general tenor of my classes, but I can’t recall specific teachable moments that may have passed because I was too green to notice them. These would be the instances I would want to observe most. The times when I did not ask that follow-up question to stretch the student’s thinking further or the situation where I could have been more patient and let the student experience more productive struggle during their problem solving process.
There are so many questions I have for first-year me, and now that I am a supervisor and sometimes support first-year teachers, I would want to have a better grasp of my own evolution as an educator to ground and contextualize my feedback. However, most of the time I am looking forward and as an educator and a learner this is the modus operandi, search for improvement to be the best that you can be. But we have all come from somewhere and I don’t think enough of us give ourselves credit for the evolution that has already taken place. The saying, “an expert at anything was once a beginner” comes to mind.
So, what would you want to observe about first-year you?