I just did an orientation to Aspirations work for new teachers in one of our 42 Demonstration Sites. Do you remember it? Standing on the edge of starting as a teacher--either for the first time ever or for the first time in a new school?
I recall the butterflies. I recall hoping my students would like me as well as hoping they would learn from me. I wanted to be cool, but I also wanted to be engaging and effective. I recall thinking I had to be strict, but also that I had to show I cared--and as a newbie I couldn't always figure out how those two went together. I also remember being anxious around veteran colleagues and drifting (in retrospect, unhelpfully) away from their wisdom and experience and towards teachers who were new like me.
Here's what I don't remember as I took my first steps in a career that is now nearly 30 years long. I don't remember hoping my students would do well on my tests. I don't remember standing in front of the room on any of those first few days wondering how my students would do on standardized tests later in the year. I never once thought during the first month of school: "I should go ask a veteran teacher what they do to help their students choose the one right answer from among four possible answers."
Why did you become an educator? Why are you starting your [fill in the blank] year in education? These first few days and beyond, reconnect with what the butterflies were all about so that your students can blossom.
7 years ago