I have felt a calling of sorts to begin writing on education. I have enjoyed teaching, on the whole, for three years, have enjoyed working in elementary schools for five years, and have enjoyed being around children for as long as I can remember. The energy that kids have, the natural curiosity, the genuine love of life, the fact that things are still new and exciting – all of these are reasons that, eventually, drew me to teaching.
I’ll admit right away that I haven’t enjoyed every day as a teacher. And I haven’t enjoyed every week or every month, either. In theory and in hindsight, I have loved it – but in the moment, no way. Teaching kindergarten for three years is no joke. Learning to manage a class of 25-31 four and five year-olds is no joke. Working in a “no-nonsense” charter school in New York City is no joke. Being surrounded by administrators, principals, fellow staff, and CEOs (yes, the CEO of a school…thoughts on this idea another time, probably) who share a very different perspective of what education should look like is no joke.
Though my first few years as a teacher have been no joke, they’ve also been really, really good. These years have taught me that, when it comes down to it, you need to do what’s best for the kids. And that’s why I am starting this blog.
I’ve hesitated to even start this blog because one of my largest annoyances with the schools I’ve worked in and the schools I hear about is that so many people appear to have the attitude of “my way or the highway.” So many people think they have all of the answers without having the experience (I have so much to say on this topic, too – another day, I promise). I fear that this blog will simply become part of that – that it will just become more white-noise in the already crowded arena that is education reform.
Despite this hesitation and this fear, though, I felt that I needed to start this blog. Not because I have all of the answers (because I don’t and I know that I never will). And not because I think my education philosophy is the way that will change and solve everything (because I certainly know that isn’t true, either). I want to start this blog because I have ideas. I want to start this blog because I want to grow and be challenged and push myself to be the best teacher that I can be. I want to start this blog because I want to start conversations and participate in conversations about education. And I want to start this blog because, if I’m being honest, I know that I am on my way to becoming a fantastic teacher and I want to maybe, just maybe, share some ideas that will help others. (Also, just for clarity’s sake, I think I’m a pretty good teacher already, but let’s be real – you can’t be a fantastic teacher until you’ve put in at least 10 years.)
Maybe this blog won’t go anywhere. Maybe it will only serve as a personal tool for reflection. But even if it helps me to think out loud, process, and reflect for my own personal benefit, I like to think that means that I will, in turn, be a better teacher for my students. And that, at the end of the day, is the whole point.