Do you remember the first time you thought about being a teacher, principal, or another role as an educator? For me, I don't ever remember NOT wanting to be a teacher. My parents even have a picture of me as a child teaching our kittens how to read! But, there have been many times when I've forgotten that excitement and passion for teaching. It's easy to do when we are bombarded by the challenges of accountability, a wide range of students, dealing with parents, and paperwork!
I'm going to take time this Thanksgiving weekend to rest and relax (it helps that I've finished all the revisions on my latest book, Rigor Made Easy). However, there is one thing I'm going to take time for. I'm going to write down why I decided to be a teacher (and teacher of teachers and leaders now) and then list at least 10 reasons that I made a good decision. In fact, here's my starting list:
I decided to be a teacher to make a difference.
1. During my second year of teaching, I helped my remedial students realize that just because the test labeled them "below level" didn't mean they couldn't learn and grow just like everyone else.
2. During my first year of teaching, one of my most problematic students wrote me a note at the end of the year saying she wished I could be her teacher again.
3. One of my graduate students emailed me to say, "You sure were tough on me, but I'm using everything you taught. I think we appreciate you more after we're finished with your classes."
What will be on your list? Happy Thanksgiving!