Today as I am organizing the files in my computer and I am reaffirmed that I love teaching. I am passionate about finding and using great resources. Continually reevaluating how, why and what I teach. It is my hobby. I know, I'm a nerd. It's not that I bring stacks of grading and work home with me, but I find happiness in looking for improved ways to help kids learn. Seriously, sometimes for fun I will troll educational resources sites or watch TV shows (usually Korean Variety) to get ideas to help students build skills they need to be successful in their lives.
Lately I have been working with newer teachers, either first year or pre-service, and I see some of them struggling. It's sad and I wonder why, maybe they realize that it is harder than they thought or there is more involved and aren't ready for a career that is not a normal nine-to-fiver. I give them advice, tell them why I love teaching, and try to help them process their role as educators or even analyze if this is what they really want to do. Because this is not a profession one should get into if they are not passionate about helping kids learn or learning themselves.
As for me I know this is what I need to be doing. I've really enjoyed talking with them and helping them through the challenges. Because really I think everything comes down to perspective. This goes for new and veteran teachers - It's all about how you see your role as an educator. It is not about us, it is about the kids. I think too often people get caught up in themselves that they forget why we teach - the kids.
If we can have a small positive impact on the kids, help them gain confidence, be able to solve problems, and to think among many other skills then we are successful.
I am truly grateful to my mentors who have guided me and helped me and continue to do so. I would not have had the opportunities and experiences that I have had without them. Anyone who thinks, acts or believes that teaching is an individual venture then they are unrealistic. It really does take a village. To those teachers who teach for personal gain, who have a 'closed door' policy, or who think they already know everything are not in it for the kids and should rethink their profession. There are those who would look at my resume or the dozens of side projects that I do as a ploy for personal gain do not know me or my passion for helping kids. While there are benefits to participating and going beyond, really it's about bringing resources and knowledge to my classroom for my students. I am really grateful for my school and for the Professional Learning Community [PLC] that is there, especially for my team this year. Collectively this is one of the best teams I have ever had the privilege of working with. I am grateful for the dialog and the shared resources, the mutual professional/personal respect that we have.