“I Am Here To Learn” – Words Filled with Power!
“If Massachusetts were allowed to report subject scores independently — much the way that, say, Shanghai is allowed to do so — the Bay State would rank 9th in the world in Math Proficiency, tied with Japan, and on the heels of 8th-ranked Switzerland. In reading, Massachusetts would rank fourth in the world, tied with Hong Kong, and not far behind third-ranked Finland.”
Read more on Forbes.com.
My 15-year-old son came home from school quoting this article with much pride. We are so accustomed to hearing news about “failing schools” that this one came as a welcome surprise.
I believe that as educators in 2017, we are far from failing.
What I witness on a daily basis is dedication, hard work, and innovation.
A few years back, I shared my story of how I got here …
I remember distinctly when I decided to pursue more education. I was working as a fifth-grade teacher, teaching 3 sections of math each day – and loving it. I was fortunate to have an uncle as a mentor who had taught the youth of Providence and advocated for higher standards of mathematics for all. He fed me a steady diet of interesting math problems and research. I developed a passion for teaching mathematics and thought deeply about how to reach every learner in my room. What happened was amazing. With this knowledge and passion came an understanding of all that I DIDN’T know. As I looked over the portfolios of my students, planning for them, I realized that I needed to understand ALL that had come before fifth grade for these children. I had to know everything there was about how children learn mathematics. I began reading everything that I could find. I tried out new ideas, keeping notes in the margins of lessons plans about what worked, what didn’t work, and how I would modify my plans next time around. I sought out like-minded educators and forged a wonderful partnership with the first-grade teachers in my building. The year was 1993. Ultimately, this pursuit of knowledge led me to Boston University, where I was fortunate enough to receive my doctorate under the guidance of Dr. Carole Greenes, to whom I am forever grateful. My journey, however, is not over. It will never be over. There is always another child to consider, another problem to solve, another opportunity to grow.
I invite you to leave a comment and let me know your story.
Why did you become an educator?
How did your journey begin?
I also invite you to become inspired by reading The Writing on the Classroom Wall by Steve Wyborney.
This author shares with us, “When I asked questions and listened – truly listened – to student responses, I discovered that their responses were not always what I was anticipating. In many cases, their responses were better than I had predicted. They saw ideas from multiple angles and used strategies that went beyond what I had expected. They posed points of view that illuminated my understanding. My students amazed me – and they completely shattered my model. I was the teacher but I was the one who was learning. And what were my students doing? They were teaching me! They were teaching one another.”
From this realization emerged a paradigm in Wyborney’s classroom that he publically shared with his students – 22 teachers. 22 learners.
Each chapter is filled with thought-provoking reflections and opportunities for educators to revisit and rekindle their passion.
Rather than operating from a deficit – what we are doing wrong … let’s change the conversation to what we are doing right, sharing from a place of learning and joy.