Pay or Profit?

For these are all our children and we shall profit by or pay for what they become.
James Baldwin

Our babies have finished their first week of school!  As I thought about what to discuss this month, I recalled the faces of the pre-kindergarten students entering their classroom for the first time. Their faces were full of both fear and excitement.  For many, it was their first experience in a classroom.  Much like the teachers, students don’t know what to expect when they enter a new space and begin this journey.  
I love this quote by James Baldwin and its embedded reference to education and the system that strives to create strong learners.  We profit from the creation of strong learners and we pay for students that struggle through their educational journey. 
We can look at our purpose as educators in one of two ways:  we can help students thrive as they experience learning, or we can pay for the byproduct of what happens as a result of their failure. 
When walking into week two, think of the faces of the students you journeyed with on your first year as an educator.  That anticipation that you felt when they entered should be the same anticipation experienced each and every year. 
If we continue to strive for unmatched experiences in our classrooms, we will continue to experience them in the most concrete ways, ensuring a debt free journey for our students! 


Reflect on your first year…

Be the reason someone smiles today! ~ unknown

We are beginning yet another school year and while most of my blogs focus on the treatment of our students, I want to spend a few minutes discussing the treatment of our coworkers.  Many times, as educators, we have a tenancy to get so caught up in the “return to work drama” that we forget to openly welcome the new teachers.  When I think back on the times that I sat in professional developments and didn’t try to explain in detail a concept to a coworker or reiterate an idea because it would “take too long”, I cringe.    
I remember the first year of teaching and I can name on one hand the number of teachers that really extended themselves.  Those opportunities for mercy were welcomed and, in many cases, received with a level of gratitude and loyalty that I still feel inside when thinking of them. 
The reasons that new teachers smile inside the classroom are very few.  A student may touch their heart, give them a small trinket or recall information.  However, ask yourself if they are also smiling outside of their classroom.  If that answer is no or very little, your only responsibility for the 2019-2020 school year is to “be the reason someone smiles” every day.   When you see new educators in the hall, and you see a lack of optimism but sense defeat, step in and offer a thoughtful word or strategy.  Education is hard but teaching alone is harder. Enjoy your year, but also try to help make some “struggling” educator’s year a little easier by helping them smile!