I've been loving the world of Periscope lately. It's such a great form of PD -- quick, convenient, and FREE. I haven't jumped into creating my own scopes yet....maybe one day....but I have learned so much from the talented educators that I watch. I love this simple way to constantly be improving my craft.
A few days ago, I was watching a periscope by Sarah from A Rocky Top Teacher and she asked a question that has stuck with me...."What's your WHY?". What is it that gets me out of bed each morning, year after year, ready to tackle another day in the classroom? What motivates me to press on when things are hard? What inspiration do I pull from to carry on and continue navigating the unpredictable waters of education and working with children and their families?
Each school year is new and different than the ones before. With every class comes a new "flavor"...a new set of interests and abilities, strengths and challenges, personalities and unique needs. While it can feel like a lot of work getting accustomed to the changes each year, it's also part of what keeps our job as teachers interesting, exciting, and fresh. It's what forces me to continue learning and growing, bettering myself so that I can better meet the needs of my students. I love learning. I love having reasons to dig into new books about teaching and being able to build my expertise in new areas. The day to day challenges of teaching are made worth it by the celebrations and breakthroughs, the laughter and smiles, the confidence-boosting and victories both big and small that also happen.
I teach because the Kindergarten babies in my classroom make me smile every single day. My face lights up when I see their faces walking down the hall each morning. And at the end of the school day, I am exhausted in the best possible way. I am ready for the day to be over, but I also can't wait to see their bright faces again the next morning. I am exhausted because I have loved, challenged, supported, encouraged, celebrated, cared for, and enjoyed my students during the school day. And I have been loved and inspired and motivated by them. These little ones that I hope to inspire each day never cease to inspire me!
I teach because the moments of success and breakthrough override the hardest days. There are few things that compare to having a front row seat to watch as your students overcome challenges and reach their goals. I get to help kids learn how to read! I get to teach students how to solve conflict! I get to watch students become critical thinkers, leaders, and encouraging friends! I get to support them and cheer for them and celebrate with them. And then I get to watch as they leave my Kindergarten classroom and continue growing into the best versions of themselves.
Even though sometimes being a teacher is really, really hard, there is NOTHING else I'd rather do.
I teach and I learn every single day. Such a gift.