I Am Not Sorry

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.

6 thoughts on “I Am Not Sorry”

  1. I love this! You have no reason to be sorry. I've been following your adventure and am voting for you every day. I went through a similar experience when I received the Teacher of the Year award from my school district about 10 years ago. People are jealous, and at times maybe negative, but not willing to embrace change and take risks to achieve the same things! It happened again last year when I was invited to participate in a national technology forum.Keep the passion and keep motivating. My class is blogging thanks to you!! 🙂

  2. Pernille, you and I have written back and forth around the topic of the GATO and how it aligns with your philosophy. I DID challenge you and ask you some questions about both the contest and the request for votes. Although we do not agree on all aspects, I never ever was looking for admittance of error nor was I looking for an apology. I feel it is our job as members of the same PLN to not only support but also challenge. I have many people who continually challenge my thinking either privately or publicly and this makes me either more confident in my philsophies or think that there might be a better lens to look through. Whenever we stick our necks out, we will be challenged by some/many. We listen, refect and then act(sometimes in the same direction and sometimes in a different one based on feedback). This is the power of being in an actual PLN rather than an echo chamber.You took a risk, heard my questions, and responded with confidence; if you believe in what you are doing then you move forward without looking back. You and I have changed our educational philisophy because somebody challenged us. The fact that people are challenging you on this GATO is a good thing as it has caused debate; many people have reflected on the contest itself and how this relates to student life at school.If people have been disrespectful or unprofessional… move on. If people have been respectful and professional.. listen, respond, and act in a way in which you feel best. Professional debate must be appreciated… without it we will never create significant change.

  3. It is interesting how people are responding mostly to the GATO stuff since that was totally a side note of this post. This post is more meant to highlight how we as educators should not be afraid to stick our necks out and stand up for the changes we came. Perhaps I will delete the GATO reference so that people can focus on other things.

  4. Pernille, remember that we as educators use apology to do what is best for our kids. It's better to do and apologize later than to ask and be shot down. Truth is we don't mean it because we had every intention of doing what is best for our kids. Shhh, don't tell anyone I said that.

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