I find that the politics of my job are no longer relating to my life. Making a difference. Changing the status quo. Placing the best interests of the student first. And any other number of educational cliches are becoming just that...cliched, white-noise, easily ignorable. Inspiration for me is becoming harder to find. Road blocks are becoming more common. I feel as frustrated as those that I know that took 20 years of teaching to become frustrated with the system; I'm only on year 6. So the remainder of this post is really a bit of advice that I hope the teachers in this world pursue.
It isn't about changing education anymore, that is an impossible task. What it is about is saving our kids desire to learn and teach others for the simple sake of the soul-filling fulfillment that it brings.
I suggest reading the post directly below this before you continue....or click here
So know that you are familiar with "Lollipop Moments", let's look at the totality of what we do. By we, I mean teachers. We have a definite responsibility to the social/emotional well being of our students. We also have a definite responsibility to instill a sense of intrinsic learning in those students. We must, know more than ever, personalize our curriculum and sell our students on the importance of learning. Beyond testing, college and the rest of our institutionalized systems; there is still the human-side of learning. Our human nature pushes us to understand. We have an almost innate drive to "make sense of the world". It runs our businesses and government, it pushes human achievement and it is the single most important factor of ingenuity.
As those in the education game, mostly the ones not directly in the classroom, drive standardization and common-ness among the classroom of this country, please do not forget the individual-ness of what we do. Talk with your students. Talk with other teachers. Change how you teach. Try new things. Ignore the old paradigm of departmentalized learning. Don't allow grade-level, reading-level or cognitive-level to undermine how you teach.
Teachers should not only create and recognize "lollypop moments", they should be the recipients of them. We matter. We make a difference. We make a difference. We make learning relevant.
"I've always been attracted to more revolutionary changes. I don't know why. Because they're harder. They're much more stressful
emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you've completely failed.". -Jobs