Dear Teacher, It's Your Journey.
Thank you for being you.
For stepping into a job that does not pay well and is not valued in our society.
As we begin the school year and prepping, I just wanted to remind you to keep in mind one simple thing: this is YOUR journey.
This is a simple statement, but it is so easy to forget (and I've forgotten it a lot) that the pictures, stories, and statements you see are other people's journey. Each educator has experienced life in a different way than you. One educator may have found their niche with reading and has shared their work. Another educator might have taught for years and has no social media presence whatsoever, but they are a force in the education world.
This is YOUR journey.
This is not to dismiss any critical discussions we must have about pedagogy, practice, and more. If anything, I hope you join the conversation either in the social media world or in your own workspace.
This is to say that you will see things on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. You may see these photos, ideas, and think,
"Damn. I didn't know that. I should do better." or "I am not as good as them." or "Will I ever get this right?" or "I am not a good teacher."
This is YOUR journey.
You do not need to spend money unless you truly want to.
You do not need to make your classroom look a certain way unless you truly want to.
You do not need to be on the latest pen bandwagon unless you truly want to.
You do not need to invest in the next conference with your own money unless you truly want to.
Understand that you have the power to decide what YOU want your journey to be. You do not need anything above to be an educator.
So what then? Be a listener, learner, reader, and critical thinker. As you grow as an educator (and I still am and always will be growing), we must check our pedagogy. We must check our lessons. We must check our bias. We must check our inclusivity. We must check ourselves and our room and make it a space that is safe, caring, and thriving.
You can do this.
It will be tough, tear-jerking, frustrating. You will see (or see once again) a system failing our kids. You will see a lack of equity. You will see the failures, the racism, the lack of trust.
You might have to back out of teaching. That is okay. You might have to take a break. That is okay. You might have to leave teaching for good. That is okay.
Our system is broken and one person cannot fix it.
So thank you for entering education.
Thank you for entering the space.
Know you are enough where you are and know this is YOUR journey.
Here for you,