Last time I wrote here I had not officially been given the privilege of being called "teacher" yet. In that time I have not written, mostly, because I have been learning. First lesson: time no longer exists in abundance. As we speak, I am at work on Teacher's Work Day wondering why I am not spending more time grading and less time updating this blog. I've wanted so bad to chronicle my experience. The good, the bad and the--redemptive. There isn't much time now (see a pattern here?) to stop and truly thoroughly reflect the past year but I'll leave you with three lessons I learned; not necessarily the top but important nonetheless.
Never forget the Higher Lesson. These are the nuggets of wisdom given and received years after students leave your class and forget the mundane, everyday curriculum. It is important to weave these underlying principles even in the most rigorous, standards-based lessons. These are the true gems that shape a more just, compassionate and verdant society to foster the deepest sense of humanity and being.
Be a plane. As teachers, we are sometimes the only opportunity a student has to explore new worlds beyond their own. That means the only person that affords them an experience that lets them know that they are apart of something bigger than themselves, that who they are works towards a larger, collective goal. So, have them read about cultural festivals, artistic expressions and global poverty, bring in that guest speaker, introduce them to social activism and issues from around the world. We are the plane, our classroom is the window seat. Enable students to soar to new heights.
Find a work best friend. Not a bar buddy to berate your students but a colleague that deeply cares about the profession and ensuring the best learning environment for students. The one you cry with, contemplate dropping everything to become a drifter with. The one you can release not only your frustrations but who will genuinely celebrate your triumphs. The one who will give you honest critique for the betterment of the kids and not to feed their own ego at your expense. The one who refuses to trash talk students or colleagues. The one who won't judge you for having a different teaching approach. The one you can grow with. This makes it all worthwhile. This turns overwhelm into fulfillment.
AND FINALLY, A HAIKU:
A mind is opened
Give knowledge, apply wisdom
The Classroom of Life