October 25 , 2019 /


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.

  1. The mental, physical and emotional health of our students and colleagues is one of several priorities. That includes a safe and optimum learning environment,
  2. The relationship between people helps determine the outcome even more than content and assessments of performance.
  3. 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.
  4. Helping and supporting others to achieve their personal and professional goals is time well spent on behalf of the future.
  5. Setting high standards and high expectations, when communicated clearly and appropriately, gets better results than ignoring those.
  6. Any school program needs to be developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, integrated and performance based.
  7. Learning is a process over time, not singular experiences isolated from each other by separation according to subjects or grade levels.
  8. Patience and perseverance work together to support students, colleagues and learning itself.
  9. A reservoir of energy, personal resources and connections help carry us forward.
  10. 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.

Comments (2)

  1. I’ve never taught in schools but I’ve worked with adult learners for 25+ years. All of these lessons still apply. There is not one on your list that doesn’t resonate not only in my work but for my children. It’s my hope that this is how my children’s teachers view learning, teaching and the purpose of education.


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