Thursday, February 16, 2012

You're Never There!

    When I was a young teacher, I announced, "I'm there.  I know what to do?" and the veteran teachers laughed.
    "You're never there," they retorted.  Now that I'm a veteran teacher, I know what they were talking about. The vitality of teaching is that there's always a new challenge, and the frustration of teaching is that there's always a new challenge. It's a job of endless learning and opportunities for growth. You're never there.
     Families, administrators, colleagues and community members can look at a teacher's work and find areas for improvement, but only good teachers themselves really know the many, many ways they can continue to grow--it's an endless menu of possibilities, and that can be an overwhelming situation.
     Instead of being overwhelmed, it's best to see it as the process it is.  Move forward with your best intent and practice, and recognize that every year there are going to be challenges.  Avail yourself to those challenges, and open yourself up to growth.  It's the challenges that will move you forward in the profession. Collaborate with the team: parents, colleagues, administrators and community members.  Listen to their comments, questions and concerns.  Keep the focus forefront: children, and continue to respond, learn and serve as best you can.
     Know that teaching is a job where you'll never be there, but embrace the fact that with respect, care, hard work and thoughtful response, you'll continue to develop your repertoire to teach children well.