Let’s take my silence in the blogging world as a good thing. Why? Because it means my life as a teacher is starting to feel ordinary, rather than some two-year experience worthy of recording. Each day is filled with stories, both positive and negative, challenging and validating, but I no longer feel the all-consuming need to write them down. Days are days are days, no matter what they are filled with.
I once believed this blog would be filled with exceptional moments of glory. My validation would be found in stories: the struggling student who finally solves a math problem on her own, or the two boys who settle their differences with words rather than fists. My success as a teacher would be quantified by these glorious stories.
But here is the truth about this profession: teaching is measured by consistency. Our ability to confiscate every cell phone, shut down every disrespectful word, and remind each tardy student to sign into class. It’s planning from unit tests to weekly assessments to daily lessons — aligning test questions until our eyeballs spin. Our ability to succeed isn’t measured by singular stories, but by the unexceptional moments that populate each day.
We can’t be looking to emulate Hilary Swank or Taylor Delhagen in one fell swoop. Truly effective teaching requires attention to each detail — to create a structure where those incredible stories & moments can take place.