I have been neglecting blogging. I could attribute it to ‘being busy’, but honestly, I think I was under the impression I needed to have something profound to say. So I waited…
Throughout high school and part of college I would journal and blog frequently, not because I had profound things to say, but to help clear my head and work through my thoughts.
A co-worker recently posted a great blog, and gently nudged me about the lack of attention I’ve given my own. Combine that with some recent events and I realized I didn’t need to have something profound to say!
The climate at my school has felt very divisive lately. Rather than celebrating our successes together it feels like we are becoming islands and declaring our singularity. This concerns me because it seems we are focused on adult happiness rather than student success. The reason I am an educator, the reason I go to school even on the hard days, and the reason I strive to continue learning every day is for the students. I hope that the decisions we are making are always about what is best for the students.
When groups of adults start the battle of who does more work than someone else, or who does work that is more important than someone else… the students lose. Every person who is a part of our school is important and valuable. The time that these people invest in the educational opportunities we provide is important. The clean school impacts student learning. The breakfast and lunch provided impacts students learning. The qualified teachers impact student learning. The opportunity to engage in art, music, physical activity, Spanish & STEM impact student learning. All of it matters.
So what do you do when there are some who seem to create that battle, maybe they don’t see the value of all parts of an education? Some people probably wonder why anyone would even bother to worry about it. I’m sure I could shut my door, avoid communal areas in the school, and do my own thing… but does that solve the problem? At this school & at others I have tried ignoring the issues and just being alone.. but we are better together.
I’m an overly empathetic person. I am always worrying about how other people, including students and staff, feel. Whether I get along with them or not. I’m also an overly anxious person. The constant divisive comments and disconnect have me spending hours worrying. I go from anger to sadness to concern and back again.
I can’t make another person see life through my eyes, nor can I make them care about learning the way that I do. Still I have more questions. How can we make it better? Do we always have to rely on some outside source, some guest speaker, some interference from administration to finally make a change? Do we just ignore the toxic people as they bubble and spew all over our work environment? But I wonder, if our community is dealing with these difficulties, is student learning really at the heart of all we are doing?
I’m not sure if the disconnect at work has given me this unsettled feeling, or if it is unrelated. It is almost like I’m searching for another piece of the puzzle, as far as my career goes. I’ve been thinking about what time commitments I would like to keep next year. I’ve also been wondering what areas I would like to grow in, what to add. I have the opportunity to be more involved in our local education association, but I’m not quite sure that is where my passion in education is. I’ve been offered a teaching position in another location, but Aaron and I aren’t ready to move. A part time position with a company that provides professional development and training to area teachers opened up, and it was on my mind for quite a few days. However, I’m not really willing to get involved in something that would take away from my current position. I really love learning with my middle schoolers every day. I just feel that I am missing something.
Even while feeling the negativity at work, and wondering exactly what it is I’d like to do to grow as a professional, I am thankful. Our school district is growing, we have dedicated and qualified educators and administrators, our students are outstanding. I wonder how we can leverage all of the amazing things we have going for us, to improve the areas we need to? I wonder how we can make sure that the students are at the center of all we do? I wonder how we can value the time of others, the perspective of others, and the educational contribution of others? I wonder how I can better serve my students? I wonder how I can continue to learn and grow as a professional and as an educator?