I was at the gym the other day and was talking with a few teachers who just ended their school year. Rather than the expected excitement that comes with having a few months of peace and quiet so that you can recharge the engines and start it all over again, what I heard was a group of people who were ready to turn in their keys and leave the profession altogether.
I am always amazed at the number of teachers who seem to want to throw in the towel at the end of the year. I know how grueling and exhausting the last few weeks of school can get, but the first thing on my mind at the end of school year is reflection on how the year went. I am constantly called to reflect and renew my practice in order to make the experience that much better in the upcoming year. At the end of each year, there is one thing I know to be true: I’m not going anywhere. Being in the classroom is something that I feel that I am called to do. Whether the day has gone poorly or it was a day of great triumph, I know the classroom is the place that I am supposed to be.
I am not knocking those who started as teachers and moved on to administrative roles, but there is great value to be found in those who strive to become master teachers and remain in the classroom. I might be a little biased, but there is something to be said about those who can remain in the classroom while teaching in crazy, hectic and hormonally imbalanced world of middle school.
Our country needs more master teachers who desire to remain in the classroom and continue to grace their students with their inspirational brilliance.
Although I might not be a master yet, I can say without hesitation
that there is no place that I would rather be than working with young people during the tumultuous times of their adolescence. Being able to work with students to help them reach inwardly and discover their brilliance is feeling that is indescribable and unmatched.
When summer break begins, take some time for yourself, get caught up on things that have long-been forgotten,and restore your mind and body. When you are feeling recharged and ready to look back with a new level of clarity, I challenge you to identify those things that keep you coming back to work each day with a smile on your face. If this is difficult to do, think of the things that drew you to the profession in the first place. What are the things that made the profession exciting and interesting? What can you do next year in order to begin bringing the joy back to the classroom? What tools or connections do you need in order to make it happen? Once you have done some soul searching, create a plan and begin acting on it— now. Our students need you.
I would love to hear your responses. Tweet to @IntoOutside or comment. I look forward to hearing from you.