I could say that I am an amazing teacher. That what I do is not something others could do. That the way I connect with kids is a special talent that only I have developed, and that if you buy my book you could perhaps learn how to teach just like me, that some of my amazing “me-ness” will surely go your way. I could say that I have discovered the one way to be great and all you have to do is try to be more like me.
But I would be lying. (And making a fool out of myself in the process).
Because there are days when I am not so great. There are children that I do not connect with. There are moments when no matter what I try it all falls apart and one of my teammates steps in and saves the day. Saves the lesson. Saves the student. I am a better teacher because of those I teach with. I am a better teacher because of the students that teach me.
You see, being a teacher is not about us. It is not about the great things that we can do. It is not about all of the things that we will teach. It is not about what will work best for us, nor how we will change the world. It is about the kids.
It is about what they will do. What they will learn. How they will change our world. How I get to be a part of the process but I am only as great as my students.
And we seem to forget that at times. We seem to forget it when we share the stories that do not highlight what our students are doing, but instead what we have done. When we advocate not what is best for children, but what is best for ourselves and hope that children may benefit as well. When we teach the way we would like to learn, and forget to ask the students what they need.
It is a balance and it is hard to keep at times. I know I am guilty like so many others. Yet, in this public way, I renew my promise to keep it about the kids. To keep it about what they need, what they want, and what they dream for.
I am not the greatest teacher, I have so much to learn, and I cannot forget that. We must remember what we are doing all of this for, because it is not for us, it is for them. And that is how it should always be. May we never forget that. May I never forget that.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) just came out!