What a wonderful opportunity I had this week to remind myself of the gift that is teaching. Earlier in the year, as part of a district fundraiser, I offered up the opportunity for a teacher to get a day away from the classroom as I covered their class. I would plan, I would teach, I would supervise. At the end of the bidding, it turned out that I would be responsible for a group of second grade students. While I have been away from schools directly for the last 5 years, I was in schools as a teacher, an assistant principal and a principal for over 25 years prior to my current gig. At no point in my careers in schools did I not teach. After all, I have always considered myself a teacher first. I still do.
So, plans in hand, I headed to the school. I headed to the classroom and got my day sorted out so that I could join the staff. I found the same wonderful camaraderie that I always found in school. Great staff supporting each other and laughing in the staff room to begin the day. A cup of coffee, and a quick bathroom break and I ventured down to meet my charges for the day. I was not disappointed. The children were wonderful as they entered and got used to the new substitute. They listened attentively, they read voraciously and they were eager to know and to share and to learn. It was how I always remembered the classroom – busy but exciting. What a wonderful day.
I don’t fool myself though. I know that the environment I was in had nothing at all to do with me. It had to do with their magnificent teacher who had spent the year engaging these young talented children. She instilled in them a desire to learn and to grow and to do so in an environment that is respectful. I was given a gift in learning with that class.
Was I busy? Absolutely! Between getting things sorted in the classroom, supervision and just talking with these young souls as they headed out to recess, I had no time to eat lunch, no time to go to the bathroom and no time to touch base with colleagues – I was a teacher in June once again. Life in a school is hectic and exhausting. I was fortunate enough to have a masterful educational assistant in the class and my successful day had much to do with her as well. At the end of my day – I was tired but I was also reminded that I was a part of the best profession.
Teachers – I salute you. You are a wonder!
Have a wonderful summer – you deserve every minute.
Keep on learning.