I have a nightstand full of next professional reads and can slip very easily into teacher talk at dinner with friends. I'd rather skip grocery shopping and use my money to buy new crayons and books for the class.
I attend teacher conferences because it's fun, and I get excited about summer staff development. I stalk my educational heroes on Twitter like a boss, and Amazon Prime customer service knows me by my first name.
I've been team leader, committee chairwoman, professional membership officer, new teacher mentor, student teaching supervisor, keynote speaker, published author, state teacher of the year, and finalist for national teacher of the year, along with 21 years of teaching children in grades 1-6 across the United States. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Here's what I have to say about all of that.
Whoop. De. Doo.
Right now, I feel as if I've never taught a day in my life and woke up in the wrong profession.
So if you are a teacher like me and are beginning a new school year, please remember this....because I certainly forgot and decided to let my "experience" carry me.
(Big. Huge. Mistake.)
The only thing that matters are the children that sit before you in that new classroom TODAY. They are different and precious and rare and totally unlike last year's group....and every single one of them deserves our greatest attention, our greatest patience, our greatest love, and our greatest teaching.
No matter what.
No matter if Josie decides to break all the crayons and pencils in the classroom during writing workshop. Just because...
No matter if Jack decides to play the "cutting and shredding game" as he cuts his math cards into pieces onto the floor of the classroom.
No matter if it's more fun for Christian to punch a classmate in the stomach than have a reading conference.
No matter if Carrie tells you she isn't afraid of you and hates people like you.
No matter if wine and oreos become your nightly dinner.
No matter if all you believe about best practice is colliding and running amuck with all you are against and know is wrong for children in your daily teaching world.
(Please note that I am preaching this to myself in blog form.)
Here's what I've learned these first two weeks of my 2015-16 classroom teaching experience: If you are in the education profession, you CANNOT. MUST NOT. WILL NEVER. STOP. LEARNING, and each year will always be a completely different experience.
We must keep our eyes on the prize (the children) and not let all the wrongs get in the way of what's right.
The reason we are in these classrooms is for the children and to give them our best. Because what matters is their growth as learners and people.
And guess what? The children won't be the only ones learning.
Count on it.
(ps....the names have been changed to protect the guilty)
Thank you all for being patient as I try to figure out this new year and continue to share my learning and growth as a teacher and a person.
Hugs to you all!