I found the following video on YouTube a few weeks ago and have watched it several times since. The video has helped me define (or begin to define) goals for myself as an educator. After all, a major way to figure out what direction to go in, is to realize what direction you don't want to go in.
I will admit this video scares me. It scares me because there is so much truth to it. So many teachers out their can fit their careers into this statement (my spring quarter placement is a prime example of this...).
The statement I found the most profound was this: "I am going to teach one year, twenty-five times." Now I am not saying that teacher's should reinvent the wheel, but it amazes me how many teachers do the exact same thing EVERY SINGLE YEAR! I mean really, we teach our children to learn from their mistakes, to work harder and continue to move beyond what they previously could do. Shouldn't that apply to teachers at well. Further more, wouldn't you get bored teaching the same thing over and over again. Do you not realize that every class is unique? Do you care? Or are you just too lazy (aka "busy") to change?
To me making changes and modifications is part of the fun. Why do the same thing when you can improve upon it. Beyond that, we are learning more and more about education and children every day. Isn't that the point of a research-based educational program?
Now, I really don't believe that there are teachers that go into teaching to be mediocre. I don't believe there are teachers who go into teachers wanting to teach to a test or through millions and millions of worksheets. But the fact is, way too many of these teachers exist. What happens? Is the system to blame? The teachers?
My mentor teacher and I had a short conversation about how few teachers seem willing to keep learning once they are in the classroom. I guess I just don't understand how a teacher---one who is supposed to inspire children to learn---does not keep learning himself or herself, and hopefully I never will understand this. Hopefully, when I have lost my desire to learn and improve as an educator and a person, I will be smart enough to stop teaching--an educator who no longer wants to learn, in my opinion, should be no where near a classroom.