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Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Big Picture: Teaching Well

I continue to use a troubling event from last year to fuel my forward movement. What have I learned, and where am I going?

"Forget that," they say, but truly until there's peace with the matter and I've culled all I can from that painful, learning experience, I won't forget. While questions exist, the incident will remain fresh.

The big lesson was don't let frustration build, instead when troubling or questionable events occur, speak up. Another big lesson was always speak up with respect and acknowledge the thoughtful work and endeavor of colleagues--no one knows it all, and when we work together, we do better work. And of course, the lesson that to move beyond established parameters takes strategic process--thoughtful, collaborative, well-researched process. You typically can't make big changes by yourself, big change takes team. And, make the time to know where you're going and why you want to travel that path--knowing your direction matters.

Direction
Clearly, my aim is to teach well. I will spend the summer carefully dissecting next year's role, then mapping out my work to teach children well. I'll match my plans with the overall systemwide mission/vision and systemwide/State curriculum maps and direction.

Collaboration
Fortunately we have Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to work with as we plan, carry-out, reflect, assess, and revise teaching/learning efforts. The PLCs are powerful, collaborative venues for strengthening the work we do for children.

Voice
Respectful process is imperative. Sometimes the fact that we have little time to confer with one another challenges process that is timely, respectful, and courteous, but instead of disrespect, we have to advocate for more and better time and process for collaborative work and effort. Rushed work, lack of apt process, and little collaboration does not result in the powerful work we're capable of when we work together with adequate time, good process, and collaboration.

Definition
Knowing your role and expectations well can really help you to travel a teaching/learning path that's positive, confidence building, strategic, and successful. Taking the time during the summer months to define your path well will make a significant difference in your work. Identifying collegial groups in your system and outside of it as well as positive professional learning events and resources will empower your teaching/learning path.

Rights
Thankfully, as educators, we have powerful Unions that support our rights. Most importantly our unions protect our freedom of speech. Freedom of speech allows us to speak up, question, and share our thoughts with regard to teaching well. These Unions, when well served, have the potential to help every educator maximize his/her efforts to truly engage, empower, and educate children.

I'm very enthusiastic and excited about the teaching path before me. I love teaching a high quality, engaging program that empowers students--there's nothing more satisfying than helping a child grasp a concept, make a new friend, or share a talent with confidence, happiness, and pride. To me, those classroom moments of joy, triumph, happiness, and success are what keep me coming back year after year, and to reach those pinnacle moments, we have to access the many supports available, work with colleagues, and do the job well. Onward.