Sometimes this inquiry, project-based, student or learner centred, tech embedded, or whatever you may call it, thing can be hard. Sometimes you feel alone. Sometimes you feel misunderstood. And the truth is, sometimes you are alone & misunderstood. Sometimes it’s frustrating to have to explain, again, what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Sometimes you feel ostracized or attacked. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes you cry.
I’ve received countless email, some from teachers needing to stay anonymous from their co-workers, of stories just like this. I’ve experienced teaching just like this.
Sometimes you wonder why you go on. The textbook would be easier. The unit exam would be easier. Not teaching digital fluency or self-regulation would be easier. Sometimes you get tired of being the change you wish to see in this world. Sometimes it’s hard.
But there’s a reason why we do what we do. We’ve seen kids catch fire, ignited by the passion of discovering something they love. We’ve heard kids articulate their learning in ways that take our breath away. We’ve seen students grow in confidence after struggling and struggling and struggling. I teach this way because I know it changes kids lives.
We teach this way because we want what we do to matter —today. Kids want work that is relevant, meaningful & authentic, engaging and inspiring. And the truth is we want our job to be all these things too. And through the course of all of this, we become more human, compassionate & empathetic. And aren’t these some of most important goals of education?
I teach this way because I know being a life long learner, who is curious & teachable, is the only way to live. But sometimes it’s hard, and I need to remind myself one more time, I’m not here to fit in; I’m here to contribute.