Friday, August 27, 2010

Reflections on week one

Did anyone catch a glimpse of that train that just ran me over? Actually my first week wasn't that bad ... but I can say teaching is easily the most demanding, intense undertaking of my professional career.

No one ever approaches a PR pro and says, "Wow, this is your first week - are you surviving?!"

Doesn't happen. The biggest surprise to me is the absolute physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that sets in when you are focused, for example, on making sure every kid in the room is understanding your writing lesson.

This profession is tough, and we all know that. My first priority is being the absolute best teacher I can be. But not too far down on my to-do list is becoming a champion for our profession. A lot of us are in it for the right reasons, and frankly we stink at public relations.

We're one of the only professions that's given complete control to other people - to politicians who probably couldn't manage a classroom to save their lives. This has to change ... but as my principal says, we eat elephants one bite at a time.

In the meantime I'm sincerely and deeply grateful for the privilege and honor of being a teacher.

(Note: This post is being published on 9/11 - may we never forget and God bless America).