C is for Caring

Many years ago, a grad school assignment was to compose a teaching philosophy. Over the next few years, I fine-tuned some of my reflections, and I ended up modeling my thoughts after H. Jackson Brown's book Live and Learn and Pass It On, starting each key point with "I have learned..."

When I changed jobs this summer, I revisited my philosophy, and as I'm working to reflect on the new path of my career, I'm happy to see that most of my original thoughts are still relevant today. The point that is especially poignant this week (with the end of the semester chaos) is my belief that educators must take of each other. In 2004 as part of my philosophy assignment, I wrote the following:

I have learned teachers need to take care of each other. Teaching is a difficult job, so it is crucial to help others whenever you can, whether it is helping someone with his/her computer, teaming with other teachers to create lesson plans, or just listening when someone needs an ear.

As I adjust to new people, places, and responsibilities, I constantly see reminders that educators are some of the most dedicated, hard-working people (on the planet?). With pressures of school and district mandates, testing, and societal expectations, I think it's time for extra doses of caring and kindness. These posts share ideas about creating a culture of kindness and caring, and I found something wonderful in each of the articles.

Most of these ideas are simple: compliment a colleague's class, send a note of appreciation, tell an adminstrator thank you, take a break from work and have lunch with your colleagues... but all were fabulous reminders for me. I'm working to use these ideas to model a community of caring with the people I work with and with the educators I serve.

Always learning.