As an educator, it seems I spend a lot of time apologizing. I apologize for trying new things. I apologize for speaking my mind. I apologize for seeming too busy to help, too frazzled to form sentences sometimes. I apologize for doings things differently, or for going out on a limb. I apologize for being a union member, or for fighting for my kids. Just the last couple of weeks I have even been apologizing for being a finalist in the Great American Teach Off because some people may be upset at the recognition. All that time spent worrying and wondering if someone is upset with me, always ready with an I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
So I am going to stop apologizing and just try that for a while because the truth is I am not always sorry.
I am not sorry for trying new things to spark the imagination of my children.
I am not sorry for listening to them and changing our learning to keep them engaged, involved and excited.
I am not sorry for standing up for my kids and getting them the help they need.
I am not sorry for trying to be innovative and for spreading the ideas.
I am not sorry for my passion and my deep belief that together we can be the change.
I am not sorry for my mother believing in me enough to submit me for a contest where someone realized that having a student-centered classroom, with no punishment, no rewards, limited homework and student driven grades is an innovative thing.
So this educator is standing up for herself and for my kids. There are many things to be sorry, but changing one’s educational philosophy to something better is not one of them. While I remain passionate, I also retain my humility. I am not the only change agent. I am not the only passion cultivator. But I am ones of the ones saying I am sorry for changing things anymore. Join me.