After a great conversation with a student who was creating a window display for my office door where I stated that I liked math, science and Star Wars, he created a great display with my name, the pi symbol and the mask of Darth Vader. I loved it and was greatly impressed by the work that he did. It wasn’t until I started to hear, repeatedly and from many, the comment that I “moved over to the dark side”. This got me to thinking about leadership, collaboration and building community.
All administrators started as teachers: many were outstanding and master teachers in their area. The move from teacher to administrator changes all that with the increased responsibility of discipline and the well being of the whole school (particularly the ASCD’s Whole Child approach, in my opinion). It is with great regret that many in education and the public in general might not consider me to be a teacher. I do teach, but my classroom has moved from the four walls to the whole school.
Despite the situation with job action, uncertain funding and the continued denigration of the teaching profession, there are still opportunities in the future for professional learning communities, learning teams and professional growth plans to continue to create atmospheres where all members of the school can learn from each other to improve each student’s learning. I am a firm believer that engagement, competence and the expectation of success creates the space where each learner can find their potential and become caring, compassionate citizens. By compartmentalising groups, and the continuation of ‘us versus them’, devalues the educational success and creates an atmosphere that teeters on distrust.
I have not entered the dark side…..there is only light in our profession of education. Illuminating pathways or curricula for all learners by showing ways of success is the job of all those involved in the educational system: administration, teachers, support teachers, caretakers, support staff, students and parents to name a few.
I am ever hopeful that we can all see that everything we do is for the best interest to support the learning environment. It is the development and promotion of our culture of learning.
I am a teacher.