Saturday, February 16, 2013

Are we working at a sustainable pace?


Are we working at a sustainable pace? 

Educators are arguably under more stress than they ever have been before.  They feel pressure from administrators, parents, and their students; each group bringing their own set of priorities and needs to the table.  For dedicated educators everywhere, undoubtedly the most pressure comes from within.  It’s hard not to take it personally when every “expert” you hear talks about what a poor job we are doing in teaching Math, or Reading, or Science, or History, etc., etc.              
So, we spend our evenings reading blogs, checking in with online learning communities, working on advanced degrees and engaging in reflective practice.  We do all of this because we want to be better.  We want to be the best.  We want to make an impact and a difference in the lives of our students.  Educators want to inspire the next generation to love curling up with a good book, to enjoy tinkering with experiments, and to embrace our collective past and our future.  Our classrooms and our curriculums are designed to inspire them to collaborate, communicate, and create.  We want them to understand their relationship to the world in which they live and that they will one day inherit.    
For many educators, it isn’t enough to just reach the group of students they see each day.  They want to engage the parents of the children in their classrooms.  They want to bring about positive change not only on their own campus but also share their experiences with others in their profession through presenting, tweeting, blogging or any other means.  The idea of the dedicated teacher now involves leadership and collaboration one could argue, on a global scale.  
Can it become too much?  When do we stop trying to be an expert on everything?  How do we balance focusing on the students that come to us each and every day looking for love, guidance and wisdom and our growing responsibilities as a professional? 
Are we burning ourselves out? Or passing on the flame?