Monthly Advice–March 2022

It may be too soon for some, but hiring season for the start of next school year (August 2022/September 2022) is here.

My advice for this month: think about next year, now.

Whether you decide to stay at your school, your school network/charter/district, or the profession altogether is a conversation and critical conversation at that.

I think staying at a school is arguably easiest. The routine, community, expectations are known. Moving classrooms or grade levels can be done in a day, maybe two. It is arguably the safest route–safest in the sense of the known, the continuity of it all.

The hardest, without a doubt, is leaving the profession altogether–and this is a relatively recent choice, conversation, and common-enough occurrence of late to be a much more serious option for a lot more people.

Wherever you land on the spectrum of what to do, or what you’re considering, it’s time to think about next year . . . now.

Talk to colleagues, look at your contract papers/letters of intent, discuss it with family and/or friends, do what’s best for you and make a plan for next year . . .

UPDATE: PD

Thanks to COVID – interest, availability, cost, and all other things have been in constant flux. Both webinars scheduled in January have been moved, my calendar has completely changed. But this is the world and life we live in . . . so here’s my new schedule of webinar presentations coming up!

*For: So You Have A Student That Needs Phonics Instruction . . . Now What? – click here.

*For: How to be an Advocate for Your Black & Brown Students – click here.

*For: So You Want to Teach Banned Books – link/advert pending.

Summer Learning!

A repeat of all my work this past year–replete with additions, updates, and clarifications based on my initial presentation(s) and feedback. It’s been quite the July — and I still have a certification series to go!

Already presented (and available on-demand):

A series to go:

These webinars have served as a tremendous growth opportunity for me. I have had to review what is most important to my work and research for every topic. I have had to play with technology and visual organization. I have had to rehearse definitions, arguments, concepts, frameworks, and possible Q & A. I feel more and more prepared, more and more inspired with each presentation–and I hope you can join me, share this opportunity, or provide me with added ideas as I move forward and keep presenting!

Things I never knew . . .

Installment #16:

Five things I never knew . . . until I became a teacher:

  • that teachers actually worked over the summer
  • that teachers working over the summer are not just working summer school
  • how much work *I NEED* to do over the summer
  • that back-to-school catalogs come out entirely too early
  • how short summer actually is

Why do I teach?

Installment #8:

I teach because I can, and do, make an impact–even when I doubt it, even when I don’t see it; I make an impact.

I started teaching in 2007; I was a kindergarten teacher. I didn’t think I would make a career in K-12 education, I thought this was a stepping stone to my ultimate goal: a professor at a university.

I had heard from lifelong teachers about seeing, meeting, and watching their students graduate high school, even college. I had heard from lifelong teachers who taught a student and then, eventually, taught that student’s children. It seemed magical and incredibly distant. I talked about the future with my kiddos, I imagined it, but I didn’t think I would be a part of it–not truly. It was just a wish. Not to mention I was in kindergarten–I had a long wait ahead of me!

Whelp, it’s 2020, and guess what? My first group of students, my little kindergarteners, are graduating high school. It had dawned on me in a conversation with a friend recently and I was stunned–how did I get so old? That much time had passed?

And just as I had come to terms with this realization and began to fancifully dream of what my former students looked like, what they were like, where they were going, and all kinds of hopeful thoughts and thoughts about the future, all of that saturating my mind, a former student contacted me and invited me to their graduation in May!

As soon as I saw the name and the invitation, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was more than an invite or a thought, it was this feeling that after all this time, I was one of those teachers–the kind you want to keep sharing achievements with, the kind you remembered, and that’s what makes teaching all the more special, all the more powerful, all the more important.

When someone chooses teaching, they choose to become a role model, a mentor, an adviser, and so much more–and in this way, they choose to make an impact in the development and lives of people. It’s an incredible opportunity to do good, and in this way, it’s why so many people choose teaching.