Being an educator is hard work. It is a profession driven by, and fueled by, passion. It demands the very best people, and the very best from those people. It requires change that reflects the changes all around us. It requires consistency borne out of doing the right thing for the right outcomes. Mostly, it requires listening and responding to the needs of students.
It seems obvious but is worth stating again. We all have employment as educators because parents are sending us their kids – all of their kids, not just the easy to reach, easy to teach ones. I also know that our promise to the students has changed. I started teaching thirty years ago and it really was all about teaching. That was the most important idea. My daughter has just completed her teacher education program and our discussions now center on the really important idea – student learning. She knows it is not enough that she teaches an outstanding lesson. She is focused on making sure every student learns the lesson. The shift from student as spectator (teacher as the guru on the mountain top) in the learning process to student as participant (teacher as the Sherpa) in the learning process is evident in classrooms today.
It’s important that we keep as our primary focus that every day, in every class, in every school, our future appears before us. Those smiling faces (and even the blank ones or sullen ones) represent all of the future holders of every job and profession in each of our communities. The one thing we do not have control over is their birthdays. They will get a year older each year. Let’s recognize this and arm each one of them with the most skills, so they can make the best transition to the next phase. The final page from the book “I Am the Future” accurately summarizes what we need to keep in mind as we help students to learn and grow:
A colleague, Derrick Cameron recently sent me this message in regards to the book:
We had “education week” in Saskatchewan a couple of weeks ago and the focus was on reading. Some of the Central Office staff were asked to come to one of the schools and read to groups of students. I read your book “I Am the Future” and I just wanted you to know that the students loved it and have sent me a number of cards where they have identified that they are indeed “the future”.
It reminded me of this truism in education – Being an educator is hard work – it’s also heart work. Thanks for all you do to connect the head and heart.
“I Am the Future” by Tom and David Hierck with illustrations by Selina Mitchell
available for $10 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org