Mr D LifeChanger 11Alive

This was an incredibly special day in my life.  After struggling for many years at the beginning of my career as a middle school teacher, I was honored as the Life Changer of the Year by the National Life Group in March of 2013.   To think back on the numerous failures early in my career, it is still hard for me to believe that I may actually have determined some ways to work well with this age group.  I think that, in some ways, I still see myself as a beginner trying to find his way.  In the early days of my career, the kids ate me up, chewed me up and spit me out.  I was afraid of them.  I didn't understand how to work well with their parents.  I always felt overwhelmed.  I didn't understand how to teach them my music material in a way they could understand.  I was authoritarian in my approach.  The kids had no indication from me that I cared about them.  I didn't understand classroom management.  It was the perfect storm of misery and chaos on a monumental level.  I couldn't even talk about it with my peers, family or friends because I was so ashamed.  Now, with Facebook being all the rage, I occasionally hear from students who had me early in my career.  The first thing I say is "I'm sorry."  :)
It is possible to get better.  It is possible to feel successful.  It is possible to thrive and to help your middle school children reach their highest possible peaks.  In this blog, I hope to help you work your way toward doing just that.  In each video entry, I plan to share at least one story of something from early in my career that was humiliating, embarrassing, or otherwise showed that I was pretty much inept at teaching this age group. 
It not only gets easier, it gets incredibly rewarding in some of the most profound ways imaginable.