As we prepare for another great year of teaching and learning across the country it is important to place ourselves in proper perspective.
Our classrooms are one of the hundreds of thousands that dot our country. Last year alone there were over 90,000 high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Over 4.5 million classified themselves as a K-12 Educator.
Yet, it is easy to lose the scale of our collective efforts once the first bell rings for the start of school. We drill down and hunker into our respective classrooms and put the blinders on. We become so focused on the good work that is happening in front of us, we forget about the good work happening all around us:
It could be the new teacher down the hall who is connecting with students and lighting their passions.
It could be the veteran teacher fifty miles down the road who is starting their 40th year of teaching and keep their classrooms alive with the buzz of student learning.
And these are only the tip of the iceberg. The point here is not to compare or envy the work of others, it is a recognition that we are not alone. Our efforts are not in isolation.
Twitter and blogging have been tools to help me connect with educators across my home state of Kansas and across the globe. Through these platforms my eyes have been opened to the incredible work going on around me and fills my emotional bucket brimming of hope; even in the midst of a burdened and unsure world.
I challenge us in these upcoming weeks of school to break out of our classroom or office shells, look around at the good work happening and drop a quick note or e-mail to someone who’s making good work happen in our schools. Through the years I’ve kept every, single little note that my co-workers or students have left me! These small gestures speak volumes and will be long cherished.
We are not alone. Education, teaching, and learning are team sports that should know no boundary. Let’s all deliver a strong start to the year; while also not forgetting to look around and see that Good Work Happens Here!