Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy One Year to Me

The following was what I said when I began this blog one year ago.

I never thought that I would be the type to keep an anonymous blog, but I never thought I would be embroiled in politics and so obsessed with work that I would need a private pedestal to say what I really think. I think most of us who go into education just want to help people, and that is what I wanted. Now, though, a year and a half into it, I think it is time for me to ask some hard questions. Am I really helping anyone? Is that still why I'm doing it? So, I've decided to embrace my second love outside of teaching: writing. This blog will chronicle my journey into a second year of teaching and my true answer to the hard questions.

I started this blog because I needed to work out some difficult issues without fear of giving the wrong answer. Now, two and a half years into my career as a teacher I am in a very different place, but this blog has helped me sort out difficult questions.

Personally, this blog has been a journal that honestly chronicled my thoughts and feelings about my job. Oddly enough, we spend more hours at work than anywhere else, but we don't have a lot of time to honestly reflect on how issues at our jobs affect us. Writing honestly about my struggles (and this year has been filled with a lot of them) helped me deal with issues that I don't know how I would have dealt with otherwise. Reading other blogs also helped me gain a greater perspective about the field of education as a whole. I have only worked for one school, one district, and until this year one principal. I had a hard time gauging if I was having one bad experience with one principal or if this was the norm. I think I have found that the answer was that not every situation was a bad one but part of education is sticking with your job even when it is a bad situation and takes its toll on you. Reading other blogs helped me think about my own situation far more reasonably. It has also been great to have encouraging comments and to know that readers have followed my journey with me. Thank you to everyone who reads this blog. I hadn't thought that much about people reading this when I first started writing, but that has been such an encouragement to me.

Now, in my second year of blogging, as I think more about people reading my blog, I want to say what I hope readers will get out of it.

I hope that if you read this blog and you are new to teaching, like myself, that you can be encouraged. There have been times that I was really discouraged as a teacher; there were days I had to just try to keep my head held high and make it through. It is hard to start out teaching and all the pressures don't make it any easier. A lot of people in education don't like to talk about their failures and struggles; I hope if you read about mine, it will give you courage to face your own struggles.

I hope if you read this blog and are a more experienced educator it will inspire you to support your colleagues who are new to teaching. In my teaching career, there have been people who I will always remember for helping me learn, grow, and just for encouraging me; unfortunately, there have also been people who were very discouraging and made it much harder.

I hope if you read this blog and you are not an educator it makes you think about the human side of teaching. Teaching is a career that asks you to put your heart out there. In a world where legislation demands that teachers take responsiblity for every student failure, it takes a toll on our hearts. I never understood how hard it would be to struggle with issues like child abuse, poverty, and illness until I started teaching. It is a hard calling to keep caring even when it hurts to care.

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