This week I have spent a few hours reading the work of fellow SMU M.Ed. leaners' Review of Literature (ROL) and Action Research (AR) papers. These represent, for most of us, nearly a year's worth of research and writing. Wow! What a journey we have all been blessed to travel!
What I have learned from both my own ROL/AR experience and after reading the work of others is that to be in the teaching profession is to be among people who care deeply, work passionately, and never quit learning. How many professions out there is it expected that you continue to learn ALL the time? How many professions out there give one an opportunity to literally change kids' lives on a daily basis? How many professions out there allow one to be the coach to dreamers, inventors, scientist, writers, artists, mathematicians, linguist refiners? Not too many.
In how many professions is it truly valued to be a teammate over a competitor? In how many professions is it best practice to share your work with your colleagues in an effort to help one another be the best each can possibly be?
Not too many.
But in education we have this unique built-in sense of camaraderie, because at the end of the day if we are all our best teacher selves, students are the winners. Our schools become better places. The students who will be tomorrow's leaders will be better at leading because we were good at sharing and spurring one another on.
I consider it a great privilege to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the SMU M.Ed. program. Not because I loved having little to no spare-time for actual hobbies, or because I enjoyed stressing over writing deadlines...but because I got to learn from so many amazing teachers. Real-live, unpublished, un-medaled, honest-to-goodness, awesome teachers. Most of them won't be publishing a book or winning a Nobel Prize, not because they couldn't, but because they are too concerned with the academic outcomes and well-being of their students to spend time seeking such things for themselves.
While I spent time reading the work of teachers who don't teach for accolades or simply to get a pay-check, but teachers who are clearly passionate about being great at meeting kids where they are and helping them grow intellectually, behaviorally, and emotionally, I considered it an honor to be part of such a community.
The teachers I had in high school changed my life because they helped me through some tough teenage years. To them I am incredibly grateful. Without them I am not sure I would be a part of this honored profession. Now I can also say teachers, as peers, have changed my life because they have inspired me to never stop learning. To never stop striving to implement better instructional practices. To never stop pushing myself as a learner...the next generation just might be depending on it.
Links to all the, Go and See Study, sessions.