Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reflecting on reflection

So, I might have mentioned I'm back in school, getting my master's in teaching. This requires a lot of writing, which is great because I like to write and fancy myself a pretty good writer. Here's the thing that is killing me: reflections. Teaching should be a reflective profession and as a teacher I should be thoughtful in my approach at all times. Seriously, though, I have had to write reflective documents on every. thing. And it is making me crazy.

I get it, I really do; the goal is to make reflection a habitual part of the planning/instruction cycle. The best way to do this is to practice, just like any other new skill, in order to ingrain that idea. Fine. I respect the profession and my instructors enough that I will do pretty much whatever is asked of me in my attempt to become an educator. I worry, though, about the impact of reflection being lost by virtue of it getting watered down as just another thing I have to do on my assignment checklist. I am a reflective, borderline neurotic individual. I beat myself up after anything I do over the hundred ways I could have done better; it's just part of who I am. I want to embrace this reflective practice, but I find myself dreading the most instinctive part of the process.

Maybe I'm just stressed out by end of the quarter workload, who knows. I'm antsy to get on down this road to teacherhood and sometimes I just get impatient with the process. If anybody out there is reading this, let me know how you cope with the hurdles, great or small, on your path to bliss.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seriously? a blog?

yep. I know blogs are sooo 2005 and it's all about the twitter-media and whatnot. I've never been one to ride the cutting edge of, well, anything so here we sit. me writing a blog and you reading it. Here's a little Q&A to sort us out for day one

1. So; who am I and why on earth would anyone want to read my thoughts on anything?  My name is Tim Murphine, husband, dad, and student. I quit my job almost a year ago and went back to school for my Master's in Teaching. You read that right. The economy was in the toilet and I walked away from a perfectly sub-par yet stable-ish career and the accompanying paycheck to be a full time student. Well, not JUST to be a student; I have always wanted to teach but never followed my passion. Thanks to my supportive (and yes, a little terrified of the implications) wife, Jen, I quit and hit the proverbial reset button.

2. What's with the dumb title? I really wanted to use "the reset button," but it seems a pretty popular title and it was taken, many times over. The chosen title sums up my experiences, too. I've never really been afraid to start over and have done so in many ways throughout my life. Backing up and starting over is not easy, but I seem to have figured it out so far and have the 48 page college transcript to prove it. Ultimately this blog is a journal of my journey to being a teacher and my life as a dad, husband and all around great guy.

3. What are you going to write about? your guess is as good as mine. Probably lots on teaching, from the perspective of someone still learning what it's all about. I'll also have plenty to say about the state of education in America and what's going on in current events, education-wise. I'll rant a bit, because I do it everywhere else so why not here. I'll brag about my kids, then complain about the things those same super awesome kids do that drive me crazy. Who knows what else; it all depends on the mood of the moment I decide to post.

4. How often will you update this little vanity project? I don't know, stop pressuring me! Just like all new toys, I'll probably spend inordinate amounts of time on it at first and then settle into a semi-regular schedule. Let's shoot for weekly right now and see how that treats us, mmmkay?

5. Do you seriously expect me to read this? I don't know. I seriously plan to write it, so I hope someone takes an interest. I'm often told I have an interesting point of view and a nice way of putting things. I guess it'll be up to all of you to judge, if there are any of you out there to judge...What's the worst that could happen, right?

It's all about me, so I hope you enjoy!

Gotta run, the kiddo's waking up from her nap. Didn't I mention that I'm a full-time dad in addition to all the other stuff?