You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
Then and Now
In the Blink of an Eye
These are some titles I’ve considered for this post, which I knew I had to write this year. A significant milestone, 25 years in teaching!
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of my teaching career about this year approaching, I wouldn’t have believed it.
If you would’ve told me that students would be carrying amazing, powerful technology tools around with them for learning (even pocket sized!), I wouldn’t have believed it. I remember waiting in line on campus to use computer programs like ERIC for research.
If you would’ve told me that chalkboards would become whiteboards, and then magnetic none-the-less, and further yet, a Smartboard would come on the scene, I wouldn’t have believed it. In fact, I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what you were talking about. A “Smartboard”?
If you would’ve told me that the mimeograph machine (Do any of you have to look this up to find out what it is?) is replaced by a copier, then which not only copies but handles a variety of previous mundane office work, I wouldn’t have believed it.
If you would’ve told me that there would be something called Google which to education is….actually the end of this sentence doesn’t really matter because I wouldn’t have been able to get past something actually named “Google.” I wouldn’t have believed it!
If you would’ve told me that it’s possible to travel the world and meet and talk with people without leaving your classroom, I definitely would NOT have believed it.
If you would’ve said anything from this list of words: link, browser, Twitter, hashtag, PLN, Edcamp, Skype, iPad, blog, and probably many other words you’ve currently used in the past day or two in relation to education, I wouldn’t have believed it. I think I would’ve considered that I’d been taken to another planet at this point!
This has been a fun, quick list to make. And I’m sure many of you reading are enjoying laughing and thinking about how old I must be. Careful – this dinosaur has a heart, you know! 😉
I’m thankful for the 4 teachers (Pat and Glenda, Ruth and Sue), 2 principals (Charles and Liz), and 2 schools (Carlisle and Thomas) in my first year of teaching – incredible leaders who set my feet in the right direction and who fanned the flame in my heart for the profession. Just a few of many discussion points and discoveries from my first year that I’ll never forget:
- How are we going to reach these kids? What do they need?
- It’s okay to leave slippers under your desk.
- Kindergarteners may follow you to the bathroom, even if you’re sick!
- Team support, 100% valuable, 100% of the time.
- People matter. The picture below I’m including is evidence of this one. While I don’t remember my first inservice Glenda mentions in her dedication note on the inside cover of the book, I am a Teacher, I DO remember the amazing people who supported me.
I’m incredibly blessed to currently teach alongside amazing and gifted people daily. For the things I’ve learned along the way and the ways I continue to learn and grow, constantly being refreshed in the profession, THANK YOU. You are the ones who are keeping me on course and remind me of why I choose this, year after year. This profession of reaching students, helping them discover abilities while gaining knowledge through experiences, connecting with caring, generous parent groups, working with creative, energetic peers, and being presented with endless opportunities for growth in many ways are undeniably some great positives for teaching.
There are many consistent, strong, underlying threads woven through year after year and experiences that have remained the same.
- Students looking for a place to belong and know they matter & are important
- Parents wanting the best for their children
- Teachers collaborating, learning, and growing
- Finding support, encouragement, and laughter in school are keys
- Working for goals, improvement, and growth from day 1 to day 182-ish
- Fostering independence, responsibility, and accountability for student character growth
- Love, forgiveness, faith, grace, and hope in each new day
And so, onward and upward with this year opening up to new learning, progress, relationships, and support.
25 – You’ve come a long way, baby. Believe it! 😉