Thursday, May 8, 2014

Building Bridges~~~Ubuntu~~~Dreaming~~~Creativity

My mentor, Sue, from Louisville, taught me in my year as a student teacher, "So, we just heard no. That doesn't work for me. Who do we go to until we hear yes?"

As one of the greatest advocates for young people I ever met, Sue taught me the necessity of being aggressive when it came time to push forward in what I believe in. If I had a creative idea, the work becomes who do I keep going to until I get the idea to run with said idea. For teachers, this is usually a financial quandary. It is also the restrictions administrators place on them with deterrence: it can't be done, you'll get fired, it's impossible, why would you want to do that, etc. We must be rams rather than turtles.

In the classroom, I always followed Sue's advice. I never got angry or frustrated. I simply went to the drawing board to rehash plans until I could make it work (to be honest, the Op-Ed about teaching that was published this morning is an example of that - I had to be aggressive).

And so yesterday, three powerhouses in Bridgeport were located in the same location at the same time: Margie Hiller, Kathy Silver, and Shaun Mitchell. We were all together, of course, to celebrate teachers and to applaud Shaun Mitchell's success.


I often tell my student teachers that there are no ticker tape parades or red carpets in teaching and that I had to personally give up the dream of becoming Brad Pitt, trading my name in lights for my name in chalk. Yet, yesterday, a Rolls Royce drove into the Holiday Inn to respect the teaching profession. It was a great way to celebrate teacher appreciation week.

Once again, Congratulations Shaun Mitchell. But thank you Margie Hiller and Kathy Silver, too. It's so much more fun to be me with you, and you, and you.

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