15 comments on “Being All That You Can Be

  1. You hit the target from 2500m with maximum efficacy!

    I couldn’t agree more! the important thing is for teachers to realize that they can still love children, be around them, and fight for them outside of the classroom. I long for the day that you speak of when every position is filled by someone who does it for the children not for the union benefits, vacation, or personal gain.

    Its okay to have different opinions, but we should be trying new things and working toward solutions. I’d argue that our system is not perfect, but I am certainly working to improve it.

    I loved teaching. I loved being with the kids. They loved learning with me (not from me, but “with” me). Leaving the classroom was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was rewarding once I became an administrator. I can still visit the classroom and I can finally begin making some real changes.

    I truly feel for my comrades in the public sector… so much red tape to make simple changes that will help students immediately. Private education allows certain freedoms to make changes and to adjust easily and quickly throughout the year to help all students. It is my hope that public schools eventually become more of an elite strike-force rather than this huge machine that won’t let teachers or admins make the necessary retooling when the time comes (and lets face it, the time has come and is past us).

    Okay all you teachers who love the kids… join Sam and I. We can only do so much to help win this fight, we need people like you to become admins, policy makers, and world changers!

    As they say in Starship Troopers: “Would you like to know more?” if so join us on the battlefield and take a new position. If you won’t join us there at least join our strategy sessions at the following amazing Twitter Chats:

    #TNEdchat
    #Weirded
    #TLeadChat

    We’d love to being making a difference every day.

    GI Joe was known for the statement “Knowing is half the battle” …. well now you know. The other half is getting out there and doing something with that knowledge.

    Make a difference and enlist!

  2. As I am sitting on the cusp of a move to greater responsibility, this post hits home. Thanks for focusing on the real mission, and for giving people pause for further thought before they simply desert. It will take dedication and sacrifice, but that’s what defines us and will ultimately lead to success!

  3. It is a tragedy when experienced teachers, (or inexperienced for that matter), leave the profession for any reason other than that they are not suited to teaching (meaning they don’t like working with kids – that is a very good reason as it is not in the best interests of the students for them to remain). Otherwise, if good teachers leave because of unreasonable Goverment demands or a lack of vision by their school administrators or issues with aggressive parents or feeling unappreciated or a profusion of other reasons that can make ALL teachers FEEL like leaving from time to time, then that is a true tragedy. When teachers with spirit, passion and the welfare of students at the forefront of their minds and hearts leave, they weaken the whole system. The losers are their colleagues and the really big losers are the kids. Your students liked you being their teacher and you left them. They don’t understand your reasons, they don’t think of teaching as a job – you are a significant person in their life and now you are no longer there.

    It is not right to be critical of those who do leave. As with any profession everyone must be given the dignity to make their own decisions as to what they do with their life, but right now there is enormous pressure AGAINST giving kids the kind of education that effective teachers know must be provided. Governments are driven by the interests of Big Business who want workers with basic skills who will not rock the boat too much. Equity of education is not on Gov agendas. Public education in first world countries is being dismantled in favour of user pay education. These are critical times in education and we need teachers who will stand their ground; teachers who will stay! Children need people who are both aware of this and who have moral fortitude to resist in any way they can. They need such people to be standing in the classroom with them. They need responsible adults who know them personally and who care about them as individuals. Teachers need to support each other because no one else will. So look after your colleagues! They are precious. Watch for any who are wobbling and step in before it is too late. There is great richness in teaching. Not money – you’ll have to leave teaching to get that – and don’t expect the gratitude of an adoring public appreciative of your hard work and sacrifices – you won’t get that either. You can though make this world a better place by helping the children in your care to have better lives, become better citizens. How many professions can say that? Teaching is sometimes crap, but mostly it is absolutely awesome! Don’t leave, please, we need you!

    • I thought about putting this in the blog, but I didn’t. If this opportunity were not available, I would stay in the classroom. Seriously, where I am at is perfect. My administrators are knowledgeable and caring, I have a class set of Chromebooks, I’ll be able to co-teach next year, most of the students come to me reading on grade level, I’m encouraged to be innovative and take risks – I work at the perfect school. I’ve questioned myself so much – Am I leaving for the right reasons? Am I really giving up and I’m just lying to myself – but no, I really do feel drawn to this role of support. In my state, preparing and supporting new teachers is woefully ignored. They are evaluated a bunch, but there aren’t actual support measures in place. That’s a crying shame, and I aim to fix that.

      • I have not had my own classes for the last 3 years after 30 years in the classroom and 20 in edu leadership. My role now working with teachers and kid as a coach 3 days in a school and the rest in supporting school leadership teams. So still deeply embedded in the school system – still surrounded by kids. I hope still real.

      • Another aspect of leaving and supporting teachers and education is that you open the position in the classroom for those new teachers to the field. you allow a fresh influx of ideas to come in. Now, I’m not advocating for everyone to jump ship… but I do think that a level of change is healthy for any school. Especially if the person leaving is going on to an influential role that they love to help many more students.

        Yes the students will miss you. Harder still, you will miss the students. But those students will also get a new teacher to love and that teacher will love them and you will be supporting both of them. Its a great thing to change our roles every so often if our hearts are in it.

  4. Great post Samantha.
    I am a year and a bit into not having my own classroom and sometimes I question my move into a leadership/non classroom position. A big part of my role is to coach teachers and build their capacity – pedagogically, with curriculum, leadership etc. I’m also partway through my masters in educational leadership but still sometimes struggle from the disconnect from kids. A wise colleague once said to me that if you can help and teach the teachers to do their best, you are having a huge impact on a larger group of kids. I remind myself of this when I feel detached from the kids and remember to focus on the excellent relationship I have my my new students – their teachers. It is fulfilling to see them grow and develop and do great things in the classroom and know you have had a hand in that.
    Good luck with your new role!

  5. Good luck going forward, Samantha. You nailed it when you said teachers lament how administrators don’t get it, yet teachers don’t want to assume the roles themselves. At this point the tails (non-teachers in power positions, e.g. Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, right on down to many supes, principals, etc.) are wagging the dogs. Good to see some dedicated teachers, then, moving doggedly forward!

  6. Pingback: Professional Development – It’s Not All About the Kids | Art La Flamme

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