Resourced Out

I’m moving to a new building and new teaching position this year – seventh grade social studies to fifth grade language arts.

To support me in this transition, my district has done an outstanding job of providing tons, and tons, and tons, of resources.  We have a district literacy consultant.  We have two literacy coaches.  My new principal is our district’s former (position cut) curriculum director.  I have textbooks (don’t use ’em!).  I have workbooks.  I have website subscriptions.  I have supplemental material.  I have supplemental material for the supplemental material.  I have Spanish, Braille, and audio versions of the supplemental material for the supplemental material.  I am RESOURCED OUT!

Too much of a good thing?

Too much of a good thing?

Looking at my filled filing cabinets, overflowing bookshelves, and forever-scrolling bookmark lists, there is no possible way I can digest that amount (or even close to it) of information in my lifetime.  And I don’t know that I need to.

Don’t get me wrong: I would much rather be over-resourced than under-.  I certainly recognize that there are still teachers in our society who are given class lists (maybe), a key to their classroom, and a good-luck handshake.  But with all these resources, am I forgetting still one more?  Me.

Didn’t I spend a whole slew of time, money, and energy going to college (“teacher school” as I tell the kids) to learn not just how-to-teach, but how-to-THINK?  I know exactly what kids need.  I know exactly how they learn.  I spend hours reading blog after webpage after tweet after book after magazine about how to truly master teach.  I don’t need more resources.  I need to use the one resource I’ll always have with me.

So late last week, when I went in my room and saw the stacks of resource books, file folders, and legal pads that I had tried to categorize, I made a simple, but profound move: I put them all away.

Make no mistake, I’ll use them.  But I don’t want to start with them.  I want to start with what’s in my head…and my heart.  I still believe in myself.  On the days where those two things fall short in giving me ideas or direction, only then will I reach for the filing cabinet.

3 thoughts on “Resourced Out

  1. First of all, I agree with you. I was switched by my district mid-year (November 4th to be precise) from 2nd grade to Language Arts & U.S. History for the entire 7th and 8th grade classes of a building. I was OVERWHELMED by the amount of resources I was expected to master in a little more than a weekend. I did the same thing, just put it away for later use, and trust my training and ability to think.

    Second, being that I have covered both LA and SS, let me know if there is any way I can help you in the transition. Good luck.

  2. 1st: I agree with you. I had a similar switch and was over whelmed with new resources. I did the same: put it all away. I trusted my training and ability to think.

    2nd: I currently teach both LA & SS so let me know if I can help with the transition between the two.

  3. I’m beginning to have issues keeping up too, and am reminded of this quote from Eric Schmidt of Google:

    “Between the dawn of civilization and 2003 there were 5 exabytes of information created, same as in the last 2 days.”

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