There are days where I cannot keep from being just flat out disappointed in our profession as a whole. Most days, I see the good in just about everything we do. We are doing good work with our standard. I see the reason for our work with AIW (Authentic Intellectual Work) and how it will change our instruction. I see how we as middle school teachers can work well as 7th and 8th grade teams, and as a middle school as a whole. As a whole, I love doing what I do and I love where I work.
Yet, when talk to other teachers and get the “don’t smile until Christmas” or something along those lines, it makes me sad for the students and teachers. I see the pain that the lack of a relationship causes with students. The hurt that future teachers have to deal with, the lack of trust, and the bitter feelings those student have. And why? To prove you are a “good teacher”? To make students feel small? To create an atmosphere why there are in control?
This summer, I wrote about a couple of keynotes and as I reflected, they tell us that we must be with our students and build relationships. Ugh!! Why do we shoot ourselves in the collective foot? Todd Whitaker talked about being there for kids “10 out 10 days”, that we need to intentional with me, and get out behind the desk to be with them. Does this happen as we drop the hammer right off the bat? I’m not saying we sit around in a circle, hold hands, and sing Cumbaya, but can you build something when you have built a wall before they walked in?
I’ve thought about this for a long time. I’ll continue to preach that relationships are are key to student learning. I’ll continue to see our teachers here build the relationships that matter. We’ll continue to do the right thing, the good work, and let kids know they matter by our actions.
Because that’s what we do.