Most teachers don’t get awards or trophies. Most teachers don’t get paid a lot. Most teachers don’t…care (about those things). One thing teachers do, is become heroes. My mom has been teaching for decades. DECADES. She is retiring this year and I need her to know that no, maybe she hasn’t ever gotten an award, but she is my hero and I imagine a hero to others as well. Here is why…
1. She kept learning. She never got stale. Old yes…(kidding mom) 🙂 Never stale. She will be the first to admit that technology is not her strength, so when she told me that she was having her students use iPads I caught myself open mouthed and crazy eyed. Really? iPads in your classroom mom? How is that going? She explained what tools they were using and how and again I caught myself open mouthed and crazy eyed, but wow, she was doing it.
Lesson: Good teachers can do good things even when they don’t know it all or feel like an expert. Don’t be afraid to be a learner along side your students. Thank you mom, for teaching me this repeatedly.
2. She kept loving. Her heart never got hard. Even in her last days of this year, she was still helping students be the best they could be. She gave students chances to rework projects, rethink behavior, and try it again. She never gave up and gave students multiple opportunities to be successful.
Lesson: School isn’t for mastery, but for learning. We owe it to our students to dig a little, develop a relationship, and demand excellence even if it takes several attempts. Thank you mom, for teaching me this repeatedly.
3. She kept honing her craft and sharing it with others. I remember going into her pre-K classroom and feeling the love as a child. Songs were sung, developmentally appropriate tasks were given, she allowed her students to be self-directed, and students were experiencing real life scenarios…decades ago! Now as a high school teacher who helps students get their CDA in early childhood, she sings songs, gives them appropriate tasks, allows them to be self directed, and gives them real life experiences they will use in their future classrooms. It just makes sense.
Lesson: Good teaching practices are good for…decades! Engagement, self direction, and authentic experiences are not new to education, but they are critical for student success. Thank you mom, for teaching me this repeatedly.
Retired? Yes. Old? Maybe. 😉 Stale? Angry? Bored? No. My mom is my Ed. Hero because regardless of the minutiae of education, she kept the most important things illuminated for…decades. She continued to learn, love, and grow. No awards or trophies can even come close to summing up the impact she has had on the hundreds of students throughout her teaching career, including me.