Monday, February 9, 2015

#LoveTeachingChallenge - Why I Work in Education

In the midst of much negative attention and feelings toward education, there is so much good that is happening in schools everyday. It seems the only time that schools are on the news is when something negative happens. Meanwhile in every single school across the country great things are happening. Teachers are creating supportive, exciting, safe, and effective environments in which kids are allowed to do what they do best: learn, share, and have fun.

I am not on the front line of education anymore. I am not doing the heavy lifting anymore. I do not face the challenges that classroom teachers face. However, I do support teachers. I am there as a resource and hope that my efforts help teachers be more effective in supporting the learning of their students. I know that teachers are often the most influential adult in a student's life. This is why I stay in education.

Luckily, I do have the opportunity to work with students in some capacity. I tutor high school students who are in a residential soccer program. Mostly I work with the students on math, but will give any subject a shot.

I love it when a student comes into tutoring frustrated and worried that they do not understand their math assignment. Often they will say they have no idea what they are doing and have little hope of ever "getting it."

I love this not because I enjoy watching the students struggle, but because I know it is another opportunity for me to see that "light bulb" moment. It is another opportunity for me to show students that seemingly impossible tasks, can be overcome and understood. Over time, I see these students show incredible growth and some even learn to like math. I love hearing, "I never liked math before. But now that I understand it, I like it." These are the moments that keep me going back. These are the moments that I remind myself are happening in classrooms all over Pinal County and the reason that I try my best to provide teachers with relevant and useful information.

I believe education is something much different than most professions. I would say education for most people is what life is about. It is connecting with and helping students discover themselves and grow into whatever it is they wish to be.