Today I begin year 33 of my teaching career.
As I move from a summer of study, family, and fun to a year of busy teaching and learning with more than 60 fifth graders and multiple colleagues, I want to reach for the essence of my work--the reason why I teach and learn each day.
I teach for many reasons.
I teach because I love to learn, and I especially love to learn with bright, open-minded, kind, and caring children--children are natural learners whose spirit and enthusiasm for what is right and good is contagious. They are good people to spend time with each and every day.
I teach because I believe that a well educated people are a more peaceful and happy people. Education is a vital path to good living, and I am happy to be apart of this positive movement and effect.
I teach because I believe in the potential each and every child holds for a happy, successful life. I believe that all of us can find happiness and live good lives, and I want to help move children in that direction.
I teach because it is a job that doesn't challenge my ethics and it's a job that does challenge me to be the best I can be each and every day, a job that's never done and a job where I can always get better. In summary, teaching is a positively challenging job.
I teach because it is a creative endeavor--I am always trying to figure out how to synthesize multiple approaches, resources, people, and tools to help children learn well with meaning, depth, and positive impact and result.
I teach because it is a joyful endeavor. There is great satisfaction and joy when children discover, create, collaborate, play, and learn.
Teaching is a demanding profession, one that requires daily inspiration, good health, positive energy, and a will to work hard each and every day. I believe that year 33 will be my best teaching year to date--it will be a good year because I've learned a lot about how to teach over the past three decades.
It will be a good year because I work in an amazing school system with extraordinary colleagues.
It will be a good year because the families and students I teach and learn with are committed, dedicated, and loving people.
It will be a good year because no matter what happens, I'll look for the promise in the problem and the potential that situations hold to best serve each and every child. Onward.