As I've noted in the last few posts, I'm no longer in the classroom. My new position puts me in front of other teachers for the most part and there's one actually positive aspect about it that has been really bugging me these last few days (leave it to me to put a bad spin on something good):
I have actually had a great couple of weeks in this new job. Teachers have been overwhelmingly warm, friendly, complimentary and supportive. In fact, I can, without exaggeration, say that I have received more "atta-girl"s and "great job"s in the past two weeks than I have in the last five years.
Don't get me wrong--my new position is demanding, complex and multi-faceted. While I am still teaching (albeit adults), I'm also juggling many other disparate responsibilities. But none of it is any more difficult or demanding than what I did in the classroom for 18 years.
I know that part of the difference is that teachers are more vocal than kids, much more likely to speak up and let another adult know their work is appreciated. But why can't we, as teachers, do that for each other? Why can't our administrative teams and our parents provide that much needed acknowledgment that what we are doing with these kids is valuable and valued?
Perhaps, if I had received the level of support in my teaching that I have in this position so far, I would never have left.
So to all of you classroom teachers out there, I want to say, "Thank you. You're doing a great job. i don't know what we'd do without you."
It's not enough, I know, but at least it's something.