I am preparing a couple longer posts to make up for my lack of writing here but, in the meantime, the incredibly awesome Dina Strasser has published some of her own words that do a better job than I ever could. I’m including a quote here as part of my series “That’s What I’m Talking About”.
In a recent article for Ed Week, Strasser responds to a pre-service teacher who is concerned about committing to such a stressful career. Dina provides some FANTASTIC advice, including this little gem about finding those fellow teachers who will support you:
“Note the names of the cool, respectful, interesting teachers your students mention, and forsake your buddies to sit with those teachers during faculty meetings. Ask for book recommendations from people who are constantly apologizing for their geekiness (this is an excellent sign that they would make good teaching friends). Write embarrassingly honest posts on your teaching blog and solicit comments on them. Attend professional conferences on unpaid time, collecting the e-mail addresses of dedicated teachers like rare coins, and then actually e-mailing these people—even if they don’t e-mail you first.
When you find your teaching friends, ‘grapple them to your soul with hoops of steel,’ as Shakespeare wrote. Do not worry about what you look like while you’re doing it. Kindred spirits will understand.”
I realize now that this is exactly what I did over the past few years when I was lucky enough to discover these types of “teaching friends”. More than any other factor, these people are the reason that I am still a classroom teacher after ten years. I hope that they know the impact that they have had, and that I’ve returned the favor by being a teaching friend to others.
Does this resonate with anyone else?