Based in Long Beach, California, "Teach Me Mr. West" is a blog by Jason West. His posts explore the rewards and challenges of being a highly effective 21st century educator.

Hitting The Pause Button

Hitting The Pause Button

I’m not gonna lie…this week has been a rough week. After almost 13 years in education, I can honestly say that my career has felt like the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: a fun adventure filled with wonder, where any dangers weren’t really something to worry about (because the good guys always win!).

But just like the Indiana Jones franchise, not every installment is going to be great. Much like Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, this week will not go down as one that I care to remember much (in fact, I’d love to pretend it never happened). Because of all of the “downs” I experienced (with a smattering of “ups” that kept me juuuust afloat/sane enough to function), I found myself overwhelmed with the kinds of feelings that many students, sadly, feel on a daily basis:

·      Alone.

·      Frustrated.

·      Annoyed.

·      Misunderstood.

·      Apathetic.

·      Resentful.

·      Self-pity.

This is not who I am or how I normally view the world. Despite any of the flaws that I see in education (or, frankly, in the world), I believe that as long as we continue to ask questions and challenge our own steadfast beliefs (to see all sides of an issue), we can and will solve any problems that arise.

So, after giving myself the kind of self-pep-talk that could only be described as “Rudy”-esque, I decided to work through whatever slump I was in and write my blog post this week. While it was shaping up to be a good one, I found myself frequently stopping and taking breaks. I finally realized that my heart was feeling overworked (not literally…I promise, I don’t need to see a cardiologist). While I could power past a lot of what I was feeling this week, I just couldn’t shake all of the feelings that I was having.

So this is my long-winded (surely you can’t be surprised by my lack of brevity at this point) way of saying that I’m hitting the pause button this week to recharge and give you a better version of me than the one you would have gotten this week. I’m going to take this long weekend to pause, breathe, and recover mentally and spiritually. I’ll be back next week with part 3 of my series on educational reform, and we can have a rollicking, yet informative discussion on why we may not want to give zeros as freely as many do in education. There may or may not be a Simpsons clip to start off the whole thing.

Until next week,

J. West

The Nuclear Zero

The Nuclear Zero

Formative & Summative Assessments

Formative & Summative Assessments