Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Welcome Aboard the Sweat-Soaked Roller Coaster"

No, I'm not talking biking here. I'm talking teaching.

Indulge me.

I had great teachers throughout my school career. From Miss Stevens in kindergarten to Mr. Hackenburg and Mr. Hubertus in high school to Dr. Lynch in the Johns Hopkins MAT program. I had teachers who could break down ideas, kick open doors, praise, push and inspire.

It was Dr. Lynch who said teaching was a 'sweat-soaked roller coaster ride'. He was exactly right. It's the single-most accurate description of teaching I've ever heard.

A year into my job teaching high school Social Studies, someone asked me "So, do you like it?" I didn't answer right away. It's not that I didn't. I loved teaching. It's the hardest job I've ever had. It's also--along with reporting-- the most enriching. It takes everything you have and more. And it's not about you or your career trajectory. It's all about the kids.

That's why I love doing stories where I get to see educators in action. This was one of those weeks. I got to go along with the staff of Living Classrooms as they took young men in the Fresh Start program on the "Mildred Belle" for some environmental education on the Anacostia River.

Teachers: listen to what Lead Educator Conal O'Keefe says about the experience he had on that day and see if it doesn't resonate.
 "You fall down so many times, you got to get up. Regardless" by kateryan

And as you head back to the classroom, here's hoping that every day gives you those moments when you look around the classroom, and see kids who are engaged, excited and inspired. And that your day ends with you refueled and ready to deliver on the promise you made to the kids and to yourself to give them your best.

Here's hoping you have more highs than lows on that sweat-soaked roller coaster.

1 comment:

  1. As a high school teacher getting ready to start a new year in two weeks, I have to say thank you for the energizing reminder of why I do what I do!