I’d like you to imagine for a minute that you are on an airplane en route to whatever destination that you desire. You hit what you assume to be a normal patch of turbulence. Then the captain’s voice booms through the speakers of the aircraft announcing some ambiguous flying crisis. In the mass chaos that will undoubtedly ensue, please indulge the possible scenario: a mother first nestles the oxygen masks around the faces of her children before reaching for her own. Maternal instinct, some might say. Our gut propels us to meet the needs of those for whose welfare we have assumed responsibility. But we now know that in order to maximize survival, a mother first needs to place the mask around her own face. I believe this analogy applies to the nature of the relationship between a teacher and his or her students.
Students are often the center of education conversations so much so that we rarely leave room for teachers to be thought about. Since teachers are an indispensable part of the equation, it seems essential that we spend some time exploring what they need as professionals and people. What do I need? To best serve my students, I must first address my own needs or else I risk burning out or losing my passion for teaching altogether.
I have had the opportunity to participate in several programs like the Summer Institute through the Kean University Writing Project and the Artist / Teacher Institute sponsored by the New Jersey Council for the Arts and Arts Horizons. These past two years have made me expand the vision that I had of myself as an educator. They made me consider my potential as more than a teacher in a classroom, but as a leader both in and outside of my district.
All good things, The Craziest Book Lady