Any Better Than Last Year?

If you’re familiar with public education then you’re WELL aware of the issues surrounding the termination of a teacher. Documentation doesn’t even begin to outline the steps necessary to rightfully replace a teacher who is causing a great disservice to not only their students, but the culture of the campus they infect. And while I have several strong opinions (as if you couldn’t tell) about this topic, I only reference it to bring up the idea of growth and development among teachers.

The teachers you’re currently thinking of as you read this are likely suffering from years of jaded perspectives on education and little to no concern for the well-being or future of their students. As my dad has often said, “they’re just kind of kicking the ball around.” They may even defy authority or consider their task an impossibility in this day and age, beginning sentences with phrases like, “these kids now-a-days just don’t…”

I once had it explained to me that you’ll find teachers in education who have a first year teaching experience 20 times over and are considered veterans of their craft. I suppose this is actually true in any workplace area though; but then I stop to consider the constant evaluation process that typically occurs in the business world (again, another topic – another day). In very few situations other than education can you take advantage of periodical administration turnover and the fires they must put out on daily basis to fly right under the radar and become un-noticed. In any professional scenario, you must build and grow on each year to become a TRUE experienced and valuable employee. And that makes perfect sense to all of us, doesn’t it?

We expect out students to grow, mature, and learn new things! But what do we expect of ourselves? Are we working to better our craft Рor do we con everyone around us? Have we forgotten why we entered education in the first place?

If we aren’t working on – figuring out – ways to help our students learn in an efficient and meaningful environment, then we must STRONGLY consider a career change. If the majority of our lesson plans today were taught to the graduating class of 2004, we’re in serious trouble. And until we recognize our NEED for growth and development as teachers, we’re failing our students and limiting the awesome power we can have as educators.

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