Reflecting on a long and continuing career as a professional educator, here are 10 lessons I consider among those that are important. Understanding this part of the definition of “important” may help: “likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.” This doesn’t mean there aren’t more lessons. These are some of mine, shared with others, past and present.
- The mental, physical and emotional health of our students and colleagues is one of several priorities. That includes a safe and optimum learning environment,
- The relationship between people helps determine the outcome even more than content and assessments of performance.
- What is learned only has value when it can be applied to solving problems, addressing issues of injustice and inequity, and creating a better world.
- Helping and supporting others to achieve their personal and professional goals is time well spent on behalf of the future.
- Setting high standards and high expectations, when communicated clearly and appropriately, gets better results than ignoring those.
- Any school program needs to be developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, integrated and performance based.
- Learning is a process over time, not singular experiences isolated from each other by separation according to subjects or grade levels.
- Patience and perseverance work together to support students, colleagues and learning itself.
- A reservoir of energy, personal resources and connections help carry us forward.
- None of us is as smart as all of us which is why collaboration and teamwork will carry the day.
As I continue my work with schools, school leaders, teachers and students, I return often to my core values and beliefs for direction and how to get the work done. That and a panoply of experience over time serve as resources for what works, what doesn’t and why.
I remain grateful for the opportunities to be helpful in this good work and I am glad to be able to share some time, experience and resources with those who need some extra support.