I suspect that if I were to examine my blog posts after each teachers’ convention, I would discover a common theme. I find convention rejuvenating and inspiring. As much as I enjoy learning more about curriculum and pedagogy, I also enjoy hearing the passion of other educators.
The first session I saw on Thursday morning has stayed with me since: Ron Clark, an Atlanta teacher with more energy and passion than most of us combined! He bounced, gestured, ran, jumped off the stage and jumped back on the stage; he engaged the audience through story, eye contact and laughter. He challenged us to find ways to inspire our students. He challenged us to be runners and associate with other runners. He challenged us to slide instead of taking the stairs. (Sorry, you had to be there…)
In the midst of such a busy time of year, it is a blessing to have the opportunity to connect with those who understand what it means to be in the thick of this profession we call teaching. It’s difficult to explain the emotional toll of the job. As rewarding as it is, it is also demanding. A little rejuvenation goes a long way!
This week I was reminded of the importance of choosing the right path and not the path of least resistance. Although it may be tempting in the moment, the results of choosing the easy path are typically short lived. By putting in the effort, by working for long term results, the situation may be more difficult in the moment but the yields are much more positive and rewarding.
When we plant a seed, we can’t expect the plant to bloom and flower immediately. When we plant our garden, tend to the soil, stay consistent with our care, ultimately we are rewarded with growth. There may be stormy weather along the way, but the rain or wind actually create greater strength.
Winston Churchill once said, “Victory will never be found by taking the path of least resistance.” Stick to it and persist. It’s worth the effort!
It can be refreshing to be around like-minded people. Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with others who share my love of words! The reason for our connection with others is not important. It’s the connection itself that matters.
Teachers are good at nurturing connections within the classroom. We all know students who need a little more encouragement in order to find or foster friendships.
I can’t imagine how disheartening it would be to feel disconnected or unwelcome. Yet there may be those in our workplace or in our classrooms who do not look forward to being around their peers.
This week, forge a new connection. This week, be the reason someone smiles.
This week I was asked what I like about my job. The answer is easy: students. No matter what else is going on in life, our students add joy, humour and significance to each day.
Most of our students go home to stable, supportive families. Some though have experienced an inordinate amount of sadness, suffering or strife in their young lives.
And though our days typically have a plan in place, sometimes, a conversation or some tears steer us in an unanticipated direction. These are the moments when we are called to be more than educators. These are the moments when we are called to serve a higher purpose: to be strength and hope for those who may have lost their own.
These moments are not on our to-do list, but they prove to be the most important tasks within the day.