Friday, May 26, 2017

Award-Winning Teacher

     There are certain things in life we have to accept about ourselves, whether we like it or not. For instance, I will never not be the youngest in my family, I'll never know why some kids are resilient and siblings in their family aren't, and I'll never be an award-winning teacher. And that's okay, I'm good with that.
       So what started this musing? An article on eschool news sparked this line of thinking. The article talked about what each teacher did in his/her classroom that was special. At the end of the article were tips from that person to increase your chances of winning an award. At first I thought, "Dang, I'll never be an award-winning teacher." And then I thought, "Who cares?" Instead of chasing after the recognition or prize, I'd rather chase after kids --their minds, their hearts, their abilities--and have a concrete impact on them in the classroom.
      We have a week left of school and as I ready my grade book to turn in, I look at all the names of students I've had in class this year--127. Was I an award-winning teacher to them? Did I engage them and challenge them and help them to feel succesful and learn? If not, no designation is warranted. If I did, their smiles and happiness at doing well in school and getting "it" are reward enough,
     I have friends who have been state Teacher of the Year and believe me, they well deserved that recognition. What they achieve in the classroom is beyond my comprehension. They amaze me.
     We don't need "tips" from award winners to be a Teacher of the Year. We need tips from our colleagues on how to be good teachers. Effective teachers. Impactful teachers.
     So if you've never gotten a Teacher of the Year award, remember, you're in good company. When that thought maybe bums you out, pull out some old grade books and go through the names of kids whose lives you touched. You were probably Teacher of the Year to many of them. And that? That can make all the difference in their lives.

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