Thursday, June 1, 2017

How LeBron James Made Me a Better Teacher

For a couple of  years I've been working on starting a blog, but following through on my intentions hasn't been the easiest of tasks for me. I'm an introvert. Writing for others - who aren't students in my second grade class, is outside of my comfort zone. For almost a year I've mulled over the content I could write about. Then in June of last year - June 19th, to be exact, I heard words that have fueled me forward. Humor me while I explain.

I am an obsessive Cleveland sports fan. Let's face it - rooting for teams that hail from the shores of Lake Erie is no easy feat and typically ends in disappointment. But that all changed last year when the Cavs were able to overcome a three-one game series deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors and win the first championship the city had seen since 1964. It was a history making run, but at the center of it, LeBron James - the greatest player on the planet was struggling. Somehow he was able to turn things around and work with his teammates to put together a run that brought home the trophy. During the post-game interviews James said these words:
“I just locked in. I had to change my approach a little bit to how I approached my game.  I wasn’t too good in the first two games. I watched a lot of film.  I changed my blueprint. I was able to put together some spectacular games after being down from 3-1. This is history. The first team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit. This is special.” - LeBron James (6/19/16)

When I heard James' words it hit me - this is what we teachers do. Lessons don't always go well. Not every plan plays out the way we intended.We all have days we want to do over. But we recognize this. We watch our kids, we make careful observations, we reflect on our practice and from there we change our blueprint.

Changing my blueprint has been my mantra for the past school year. Last summer I sat back and really thought about how things were working in my classroom. Recent years had been more difficult than others. It was apparent that the underlying issue was being just plain burnt out from new initiatives, new directives and the revolving door of administrators at my building over the past few years. In my classroom, there were a few things that needed tweaked and some things that needed to be overhauled. I needed to reclaim my vision - not what others intended my vision to be. So, that's what I've decided to use for the content of my blog - how I changed my blueprint. My hope is that through writing I can better process the changes I made and be reflective on what worked and what is still developing while sprinkling in some other things along the way.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you'll come back.

And, oh yeah - GO CAVS!