Saturday, May 3, 2014

Affirmations for Educators - Who You Are Makes a Difference!!


This is for all the amazing educators out there!  Who you are makes a difference - Thank you!

We live in uncertain times.  Each day we get up and there is something being portrayed in the media about teachers or education.  On the rare occasion, it is an upbeat and positive story that reminds us of the importance of our job.  Sadly, this is all too rare.  SO, each day, wake up, smile and remember that despite what comes your way, you have got this!  Teachers are well prepared, resilient human beings that have the ability to ride the storm.  Remember, you are a teacher - you are prepared!

If only the rest of the world understood just how important that statement is.  As a teacher, you know that there will be days where our most vulnerable and at risk students are going to come to school after having had an horrific evening or start to their day.   As a teacher, when their behaviour is displaying the least loveable of elements of their character, you will remember why you got into teaching, and you will know this is when they need you to love them the most.  To set the clear and firm boundaries; to care and to realise that there won't be any point forcing an academic outcome onto these students until their social and emotional wellbeing is taken care of.  I want to gently remind you, that all the stressing in the world over data and learning outcomes pales into comparison when you remember that these vulnerable students need you to love them first - and to teach them second.  It is all too easy to forget we are working with little human beings with real feelings and real emotions.  They are not numbers or statistics - they are people. 

This can be hard somedays.  It is hard to step up and stand up for what is best for our students and our communities and for public education when the media and the bureaucrats focus on the negatives.  You are a teacher - you came into education to make a difference and to shape the future of our society.  Stay true to what is researched based, what is right and what is morally and ethically best for students.   Please do not get me wrong - I am not advocating that you do not embrace change - change can be a wonderful thing.  But embrace the right changes for the right reasons.  

Such an important remembering in the current age of the G.E.R.M. .  Our Students are growing and developing into adults, learning the competencies, skills and values they need to be a productive and happy member of society.  It can be hard to measure that in a Math or English test.  In all the years I have asked parents what they want for their children, not one has said only to be numerate and literate.  That, they expect, will be a given.  No, they all talk about how they want them to have the skills, aptitude, confidence, values and competencies they will need to be successful now and in the future.   

Every day!
Every day you make a difference in the lives of the students you teach.  You make the choice as to if that difference is a positive or negative one.  How you respond to your students, the experiences you provide for them and how well they are engaged in the learning process are all things that you have control over.   

This is a critical message for you and all educators.  In the worlds current obsession with manufacturing various neo-liberal crises around the state of public education, it can be all to easy to become disheartened and disillusioned.  Try not to let it break your spirit and always remember that what you do is important and be proud of being an educator.  

What an amazing privilege it is to be an educator and to be at the ground level of shaping society.  Every day, parents drop their most precious of bundles off to us.  To teach is to inspire, to shape and to create the future.   You are the person who can make a positive difference in the lives of all the students you work with.  

Can you remember why you got into education?  Can you remember what it was that inspired you to want to teach?  I remember the moment where I had something akin to an epiphany.  I knew that I needed to go into education and for me it was about paying it forward.  Whist our stories are often quite unique, educators share one commonality and that is to make a difference!  

Education is an important cornerstone of our world.  Everyday you work with students, you are helping to shape this and your contribution is critical.  On behalf of all those amazing students you work with, and on behalf of all the parents, and especially on behalf of those people who have no idea how important you are - THANK YOU.

1 comment:

  1. "Let us celebrate the best of our kids, the same way we would want anyone to celebrate us". Clint Smith