I’ll admit I’m jealous of my peers, regionally and state-wide, when the annual ‘Teacher of the Year’ awards are presented. These award winners are well-deserved, earning the accolades over the course of their respective careers 2017 OSPI Teacher of the Year.
When I fantasize about winning such an award; however, my envy eventually turns to humility and partial embarrassment.
I return to reality. I know that real teaching success is no lone ranger. At its core, education is all about community.
What I do in the classroom would be impossible without the joint effort of many individuals. In fact, it would be an arduous task to spotlight all of them. I’ll illustrate with live examples.
These two professionals (Sandra & Sunni) are the face of the school; no one enters or exits without seeing one of them. Sandra and Sunni are administrators, communicators, counselors, liaisons, our go-to folks.
Consider your school’s secretary and the roles he or she performs daily. Who decides what warrants classroom interruptions, announcements, phone calls? In smaller districts, who’s the on-point person when students are removed from class for any reason? Who facilitates communication between the teacher and parent, internet schedules and changes? Who do you go to when you need classroom materials? Purchase orders? Who facilitates coverage and sick leave? These are only a few of the many tasks taken on by these two professionals.
One day walking through the office a young student said, “Mrs. Brott, you have a dream job.” A prophetic statement highlighting the influence of these important school roles.
These two (Corey & Chris) are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. They perform a multitude of behind-the-scenes tasks that matter. From large scale remodeling and reconstruction projects, heating and air-conditioning repair to helping a student with a jammed locker. Their influence allows teachers to teach and students to learn. The pride these gentlemen take in presenting a clean, well-kept facility and grounds filters to all stakeholders.
Teaching is complicated and all-consuming. A hurricane some days. But I encourage you to take the time and look around your buildings and recognize your supporters. Proficient pedagogy is critical in today’s educational world of high-stakes assessment. The social skills we teach are just as important. Rudyard Kipling is right, the strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Celebrate each individual.