Skip to main content

The Heart of a Teacher

I spent part of my day at a job fair, along with various others from my district, in hopes of finding the next great educators to join our team. Hiring season is always an interesting time and it causes administrators like myself to really reflect on those qualities that make for quality educators, mentors, and leaders. The comical part of the day was that I spent my time with another administrator talking about how much we miss the classroom. Administration work is not always the "fun" work and we don't always get the opportunities to build relationships with learners like we did when we saw them every day (or every other day on a block). We both miss teaching so much that my colleague confessed to me her plans to go back to the classroom eventually and I confessed to her my plans to hopefully find a way to team teach one of my favorite classes of all time, AP Psychology. You know what they say: you can take the teacher out of the classroom...

It takes a lot to be an educator, especially a public school one. And while there are so many voices out there that work to lift us up and to thank us for the work that we do, the voices of those who choose to do the opposite often feel louder; when your life's work is to build up young people, it can really tear you down to hear those who think that you are never doing enough. As the wife of a private school educator, I know life isn't always easy there either and we spend a lot of time at home talking about how our issues are different, but they still exist. The work is real, valuable, and challenging no matter how a learner ends up at your door.

So today, I want to share with you the heart of a teacher as we go into this Teacher Appreciation Week. I find it somewhat cruel that Teacher Appreciation Week also happens to fall on a major End of Course Exam week in the State of Texas, but maybe that just highlights one of the many reasons that teachers are made of some pretty tough stuff. Even though weeks like this can be deflating spending hours proctoring tests, and even though our worth as educators may be judged on a single day's scores... we still show up... every day.

I don't know that I can speak for every teacher, but I'll at least speak from my experience on a few truths:
  1. Every day is better because we know your child. 
  2. Even when a learner turns out to be more like a 500 piece puzzle instead of that easy 10 piece we were hoping for, we still love your kid. Somehow, we will figure it out together. 
  3. If we can make your child's day, year, and life better because of what they learned in our room, it will be the greatest gift you could ever give us.
Thank you for the honor of being "teacher".


Popular posts from this blog

The Secret to Leading a School: Stay in Love

I had a moment this past week where I was walking around campus and things were just clicking. I was so in love with what I saw, that I went back to my post in the media center (where I prefer to spend my time instead of the office) and grabbed my cell phone so that I could take some pictures. The reason I felt so in love at that particular moment was that we were able to turn a schedule design challenge into something that would directly benefit our learners; and I was seeing the benefits to our learners in action! Our design issues was around the movement of our campus to a modified block bell schedule AND still trying to make time for our cross-grade level advisories that we call Networking. The result of that was the development of flexible days where learners sing up to go to particular classes as needed (or as required). 
What I saw on my walk of the building was the idealization of our goal to provide flexible scheduling to meet needs. There were learners who were having one on…

Leading by Doing: Why I am Using PBL to Design Professional Development

When I was first introduced to Project Based Learning it was as an offshoot to a much larger training that was provided to teachers in my (previous) district. I was in a group of classroom teachers who sought out the challenge of being a 1-to-1 iPad classroom in a school system that had previously not had this level of technology integration. The training was offered in such a way that the primary mechanism for teacher behavior change was through sparking interest and curiosity among educators. The goal being that we would feel comfortable stepping out on a limb and taking risks if we saw that there were other ways of doing things. The introduction went like a lot of professional development in a lot of places: As you can imagine there were a lot of people who were excited to try out Project Based Learning (PBL) and I was definitely one of them. Not long before leaving the classroom, I even launched my own nascent project that I fully regret not staying in the classroom a little longer…

Part 2: Leading by Doing: Why I am Using PBL to Design Professional Development

Identifying the Learning Objective
Recently, I shared the reasons why I am using Project Based Learning as a design model for our professional learning as a campus. This week, I would like to describe the early steps of that process.
I was hired in early July to be the principal of New Tech High @ Coppell. Any time you enter a new system (I was hired from outside the district) and especially a new campus, it can take some time to review the data, make observations, and develop a plan. The goal is to make sure that the plan that is created is not just driven by the traditions of the school or by the proclivities of the new leader, but by the current and future needs of the campus.
The first step in designing a lesson, project, etc. is understanding what standards, objectives, or essential questions that need to be obtained. When designing professional learning, the process begins just the same, the only difference is the question must be answered for adult learners. As a project based cam…

Currently Reading