Sunday, November 6, 2016

What I Didn't Know I Wanted But I Got From Teaching

There are a lot of things in this op-ed piece that stand out: valuing teachers, high expectations, high support, giving students an opportunity, and of course the incredible progress of students in these schools. But one thing jumped off the page at me:

"... teachers hardly seemed to notice when I ducked into their rooms, midclass, to watch them. They are obviously used to having observers. They welcome it, as a way to improve."

When I interviewed at my current school almost 18 months ago I really didn't know what I was looking for; the circumstances of me stepping foot on that campus were more or less accidental. I wasn't looking for a job. I was at a place that I loved and that loved me back. As the interview(s) progressed both ways, something that one of the faculty said stuck with me,"If you want to be a better teacher, you should want to come here." It was what I was looking for. In the last year and a half the opportunities for improvement have been made available at a breakneck pace. The intensity that it takes to try and keep up has been monumental. I have never worked so hard in my life; I have also never loved it so much. The opportunities for improvement are endless, waiting to be found, in every moment of every day. I can't keep up, there's no way that I can seize every opportunity that presents itself, but I'm trying. It's by far the best thing I've ever done in my life. It is a fulfillment of a calling I didn't know I had 18 months ago.