What I know for sure

I have always wanted to be a teacher.

In second grade, I was a precocious 7 year old who decided I could do a better job managing a class than my teacher.  The grade I wanted to teach changed as I grew up.  I always wanted to teach the grade I was in! An inspirational teacher in high school, Mr. French, really showed me the power of effective teaching and the whole world opened up.

I settled in as a social science teacher at the secondary level. That is the general description of what I do and as stated on my teaching credential I can teach any social science class for 7-12th grade. And actually, I have taught EVERY class under the umbrella of social science.  However, my experience, expertise, and passion lies with teaching 11th and 12th  graders government and economics.

Whether I say that I chose the teaching profession or it chose me, I truly see it as my calling. Teaching is what I do. Teaching embeds itself into my life and is a part of who I am. I identify as a teacher.

I read a post on the Daily Kos by thallir (read it here) that relates a story similar to mine.  I want to teach. I want to continue to do what I believe I have done well for 23 years. I am confused and frustrated by the current attack on me and my profession.

I take it personally.  I feel like conversations about education are running in circles.  People have so much to complain about but no feasible solutions. I’m scared for my profession and I contemplate what else I can do.

What I know for sure is the power of education. I know I play a role in bringing education to others and I believe I have a role to play in this age of reform and policy questions. Invite me into the conversation. Listen to my thoughts and let me be one voice.

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One Response to What I know for sure

  1. Bruce Greene says:

    I love the title of this entry. Right now, as I see it too, teachers need to keep this phrase as a mantra. When you* have been in the classroom for more than a decade you know a few things. These attacks are made by people who do not teach and who do not know the reality of teaching today. Finding the courage to continue to do what you do best, to take advantage of all your experience and skill can be difficult when others with the political power to make decisions you should be making are exploiting the conditions and resources you deserve. My hope is that teachers will find the strength and the will to resist. Draw a line in the sand and just say Basta! (Enough) Until then, know that you know what you are doing, why you are doing it and how to do it. It’s clear that you (personally) yes you Nancy, have the passion, the skill, the intellect, and the courage to teach. You are not alone.

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