Thanks to terrific community, state, and union support, I work in a school that has amazing resources and terrific educators. It is a dynamic environment for teaching and learning--the kind of environment that offers educators fair salaries, good working conditions, and the resources to do a great job.
As a child of working class parents who valued education greatly, I sometimes feel guilty working in such a privileged setting as I wonder if I should be working in a school similar to the one I attended as a young girl--a great school with great teachers in a community where many parents had not attended college.
Yet, I realized a while ago, that I can use my situation to work at creating an atmosphere that is exemplar--a situation that others can look to as an example of what we can do when schools are well funded and supported. That is the promise of schools like mine; we can demonstrate what a top notch public school can be.
So that's what I'm working for, I'm working to create a top notch public school experience for each and every one of my students. There's lots of work to do as there are challenges that call us to do more and do better. Fortunately almost everyone who works at the school is interested in overcoming those challenges.
With such an invested staff, there's the problem of the challenges we prioritize since everyone sees things a bit differently. There's also the challenge of finding the right time and right processes to prioritize and then to plan how we'll meet a challenge. And there's a problem of apt collaboration since there are so many people who have extensive experience and good vision, and while this is awesome, it can make collaboration tough at times. This article will shed more light on that for me.
So as I think more on the year ahead and my overarching goal to listen more and better, I want to be cognizant that I work with a stellar team, and with that knowledge, I want to listen to the brilliance they share, think about how I might contribute, and think about the processes that will help us to do the best we can to teach every child well and develop the work we do in ways that matter.