Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Long Game

My career is a long game approach to social justice and education reform. I believe in the power of education--beyond the trope--and I believe in the need for excellent public schools. I believe in equity. Every stage of my career has been a move towards reaching these ends. And now, I feel like I have finally found a space that has the potential for the most impact: teacher education. 

However, it is the long game. I believe excellent, empowered teachers are the true secret to reaching these goals. I believe that teacher leadership can turn the Titanic. But I get them as babies. I plant a lot of seeds. I nurture once they leave. I occasionally do a little pushing for them to step up. Speak out. But it's a long game.

But then moments like this happen:
I spend as much time in schools working with students as I can. First, it keeps me current and empathetic when I'm working with teachers. I understand the demands of the new assessments and lesson planning because I just spent way too much time trying to design a game to help accelerate a student. I remember the daily pull between curriculum and children. I learn so much from being in real classrooms, and it keeps my passion alive.

Yesterday, I was working with a reading group, and we were struggling our way through a text. But we did it--mostly. When our time was up, one of my little sprites ran to her backpack because she wanted to give me something. Then she put that little ladybug on my hand because I was a great reading teacher. Her little face was just beaming. It truly made my day.

You see, when you're playing the long game, it sure it nice to get a sticker every once in a while.

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