Welcome to week four of Edutopia's New Teacher Academy blog series! I'm excited to be here with you sharing my passion to support and mentor new teachers. I hope that you will come back for the next and last post in the series as we continue to look at five key topics designed to provide resources for new teachers in five key areas. To collaborate in more detail on these and other topics, I invite you to join my weekly New Teacher chat on Twitter, and also to visit my blog Teaching with Soul.
Middle-class families don't always realize it, but we feed our kids a steady diet of college-bound messages from the time of their infancy. At least that's been the case for my husband and me. Our daughter had her first college t-shirts before she reached six months old. The word shirt is plural because my husband and I went to different colleges, and each of us hoped to pass on some subliminal message about the superiority of our respective institutions.
"My mom is a hero," Alfredo said, cutting me off one sentence into a picture book about Martin Luther King, Jr. His chubby second-grade body perpetually squirmed on the rug where my 32 students were seated. "She brought us here from El Salvador by herself. Me, my two sisters, and our baby brother. We walked."
Hands down, teaching children is the most incredible and rewarding occupation that exists. That being said, teaching is a complicated profession for many reasons. There are so many variables that can impact a teacher's year including: class size, administration, supplies and resources, colleagues, class makeup and of course families!
As the old African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." One could imagine then that it would take a community to raise a school. We can't rely on local, state, or federal governments to take ownership of the issues we face locally. We need to work as a community to nurture our schools for our particular community needs.
I love watching the new teachers scramble for the laminating machine and make copy after copy of bio info, homework routines, and schedules in preparation for Back to School Night. They sweat, stutter, and turn bright red. Don't get me wrong; I'm not making fun of their anxiety at all.