Day 3 – Professional Obligations
One of the unexpected parts that I have discovered about teaching and being an educator is that the most important part of my job might, well maybe, not be what I do in class everyday. If you were to ask me to prioritize my work as a beginning teacher, my classroom practice would have been a clear winner, but now, at a mid-career, I’m not so sure. So that leads to another question: If it’s not what happens in the classroom, then what is my greatest professional obligation?
To me, I have made a more intentional effort to elevate and celebrate the amazing things teachers across the world are doing. I attempt to do this through several pathways. The one I’m most excited about is my role as a teacher story scout for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the podcast I do called “Everyday Excellence”. This started out as a passion project in response to the overall lack of “awesomeness” that we feel as professionals about how we do our work. Sharing teacher and educator stories has become such an uplifting experience. Because of this passion project, it has turned into even a larger platform with a broader audience to share the amazing work done by educators across the country.
You may think that this is an odd “professional obligation” but my sense of the work has led me to believe that in order to improve student outcomes, which therefore improves our society and world, is to improve the teaching profession. I can contribute to the greater good by making a concerted effort to share the practices and thinking of other educators to create an even larger impact. To amplify the voices of teachers and educators so that students everywhere will not be victims of geography. So, the work for me is to continue to disrupt, shake foundations, and ask the tough questions. I rarely have the answers, but what I do know is that WE do.
And oh, by the way, have a story to share? Please tweet me at @the_explicator and we will share it.