Friday, September 17, 2010

I hope you realize you have the best job...

The last 4 weeks have been extremely busy for me.  We recently started a brand new gradebook and website system in my school district.  This has proven to be an amazing tool and resource as we look to ways to improve education.  For all the greatness this new opportunity provides, we have been faced with the never ending battle of growing and developing educators so they can utilize this new resource.  As exciting as it is to work with educators with the goal of improving education for our students, it is a tiring and exhausting process of which I have personally never experienced.  Additionally, we have been doing a ton of work in preparation for our first full-day professional development day of the school year.  The last 6 years I have spent in the district we have conducted half-day PD days, and I have been really looking forward to the full-day PD days we are starting this year.  Needless to say, the last few weeks have flown by, and they have put my organizational and instructional leadership skills to the test.

Today we had our high school's first full-day professional development day.  Overall I am very happy with the outcome, and I look forward to hearing the opinions or others, as well as the comments which should hopefully help us to continue to improve upon our professional development days.  I would be lying if I said I believe every single member of the staff was completely satisfied with our first PD day...but overall, I think it went rather well and our teachers were able to get some valuable information and resources to improve the educational climate at our high school.  As a leading member of the professional development team, it is hard to accept the fact that some teachers left our first PD day looking like this:   
By no means do we try to make the lives of our teachers more complicated or difficult, but rather we are trying to concentrate on the kids, and the ways we can make the educational process more effective and relevant for them.  I will concede to the fact that we threw a ton of information at our teachers today, and it is totally possible that some left today's PD day overwhelmed and searching for answers.  One of the great advantages of having full-day PD days is that we get a ton of of the most apparent disadvantages of having full-day PD days is that we have so much time that we run the risk of introducing too much to our teachers.

I am not saying our teachers can't handle the large amounts of information, but we have to be aware of their feelings.  If our teachers feel stressed and overwhelmed we will most definitely see a decline in overall teacher effectiveness in the following weeks.  I am cautiously optimistic that any feelings of stress will be short-lived, and will hopefully culminate into feelings of inspiration and motivation toward using this new information to enhance classroom instruction.  Hopefully, teachers will come to school on Monday looking like this:
"I hope you realize you have the best job," is the title of this blog post.  As educators we work in a system that provides us with the time and resources to grow and develop.  This job accepts that we are not perfect, and that we all have room to improve.  This job recognizes failure as an integral part of success.  This job pushes and encourages us to share and collaborate in an effort to completely eliminate the concept of isolation.  The job of an educator is the best job because it gives us all the opportunity to grow, develop, refine, reinvent, evolve, and most importantly the opportunity to impact the lives of others.  The struggles and tribulations we face as educators are merely pit stops on the NEVER-ENDING journey of growth.  The job that does not allow and encourage you to grow, is the job you should be thankful you don't have...       

1 comment:

  1. The last paragraph, and particularly the last line of this is really what got me.

    Based on my observations in the 8 years I've spent in education, I feel like some people chose this job/career/vocation because they were sure they'd never HAVE to change. What does a teacher do? They show up, they teach from the book, grade a few papers, and call it a day. Sometimes, I wish I could ask people, is this job what you expected? I guess some of them would say 'yes', because they've made it that way, a cushy, feet-up-on-the-desk kind of gig that leaves students poorly prepared. We know it's not best for the students/school, but if those people are happy with what they're doing... that says so much about what you've got to fight against.