Ever since I was a kid, it has been my dream to become a teacher. Both of my parents are educators -- my mom, a retired principal; my dad, a middle school science teacher -- and I remember growing up and listening to their stories at the dinner table.
These stories consisted of severe student behaviors, complaints of fellow teachers not pulling their weight, toxic feelings between staff and administration, exhausting long hours of work that never seemed to end, and the emotional fatigue of caring so deeply for students who are going home to a situation that makes you stay awake at night.
I also heard stories that made education completely worth it for my parents. The stories where a student finally understood one of my dad's difficult science concepts and smiled from ear to ear. When a student finally opened up to them because they knew they could trust an adult to share their story with. The story where my mom received a hug as a student walked across the graduation stage and told her how he was accepted to play basketball at the collegiate level because she never gave up on him.
Today in 2019 I can proudly say I have followed my dream and now teach middle school science (yes, just like my dad). I am so proud of my students--their energy, their growth, and I feel an incredible sense of mission and belonging at my current school.Yet, there exists a widespread sense of apathy, exhaustion, and hopelessness amongst educators that still seem to dominate the conversation. And my question is:
"How do we change this story?"
I believe stories are the answer. That's what Ed Essentials is all about. Stories. Ask any teacher, associate, administrator, and educator: teaching is not something a textbook or college degree can fully prepare you for. It is the experiences and stories of those who have lived,and are continuously living, the teacher life that provide insight to what this job is really all about.
Ed Essentials is a place where these stories will be shared. Not just successes. Failures too. In fact, the most important stories are failures in our practice and what we can do to grow. All stories between the good, the bad, and the ugly are here in order to better equip you for the education world today. Ultimately, the better we are at our craft, the better we can serve our students.
This story can be changed. It must be. But change is difficult, filled with doubt, uncertainty, and failure. Yet we must choose to fall in love with the process of growth. Our students deserve it.
Let's push the boundaries of education together.