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".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Tales of a Rookie Principal, Lesson 1: Sometimes You Have to Laugh at Yourself

Yesterday was the BIG DAY; it was my official first day as a principal of my own campus. With it being the middle of the summer, I assumed that when I got to the school I would be rolling up into an empty parking lot and would have most of the day to myself to find things and prioritize my first tasks. However when I got to the school, I found a completely full parking lot due to a staff development. You know what I did? I laughed. I laughed because for a few seconds I was thinking that I might be a big deal. And even though it turns out there was a spot with a cone in it reserved just for me, I remembered in that moment that I don't matter as much as what we do and who we do it for. It was my first lesson and I think my most important one. I'm still laughing.


Tales of a Rookie Principal, Lesson 4: Be the Loudest, Craziest Person in the Room

If you have known me for any amount of time you know that I am an introspective introvert who tries very hard in the school setting to be a school spirited extrovert. I became very intentional in this shift a little under a year ago while I was traveling with our volleyball team to the regional tournament in Abilene. Like the parents that were there, I was sad that we didn't have a student cheering section along with us to power our ladies to victory and knew that we needed to do something about it.

So what is a lone associate principal to do? Lead the cheering of course! Not having been a former cheerleader myself, my efforts consisted mostly of yelling chants that I know. I yelled so loud and so often over the course of two days that I lost my voice by the end of the weekend. The best part was, the volleyball moms joined me in the chants and we helped power our girls to a near-victory in the regional final. It was a fun, but new experience for me to be the loudest and craziest p…