In my 10+ years of teaching (which is really just a drop in the hat of some of my valued teacher friends) I don't ever remember being under such a microscope. This microscope, along with all the recent changes has left me in a state of constant second guessing. The education issues seem to be so heated and although I have opinions on many of them, ultimately, I just want the learners in my room to learn. I want them to overcome hurdles, be exposed to new ideas, to never believe they can't do or accomplish something. I want to know that when they leave me at the end of the year that I have exhausted everything (including myself) in order to prepare them for their next step. I want to be able to find the right tools and/or resources to make them successful.
But lately, I find myself second guessing what I am doing, how I am doing it, and the effects it will have on not just my students but also myself and our community.
Being part of CoP is my lifeline. Meeting with this cross section of fellow teachers from Districts that are similar, and not so similar to my own has been my saving grace the last two years. Often times when we get togheter and start 'trading stories' and explaining where we are in the year and what our plan is for the next stage in our classroom - we find that the others of CoP are in a similar situation. It's like a weight is lifted when you finally realize that you aren't alone; that teachers who you hold in high regard are feeling the same way. And then the magic happens. Wheels start turning, ideas start flowing and the sharing is endless.
I leave our sessions feeling enlightened, encouraged and honestly, like I could take on the world. Their support and willingness to be part of this learning/sharing community has given me the strength to keep on keepin' on...
With the new school year approaching...CoP will be the first set of meeting dates that I put on my calendar ;)