Think about a tree's beginnings. It starts out as a little sapling and over the years given a lot of care attention, warm sun and water, and nutrients in the form of advise, mentoring, helpful hints, guidance, and training by other accomplished teachers and colleagues. Of course, the young tree experiences some storms along the way that buffer it about and test its strength, resolve and durability but these difficult moments help the tree to grow stronger for the future. Over time the tree develops a good base, is well rooted and successfully weathers those same storms which before were difficult and potentially harmful. It is now branched out, and has developing into a beautifully full tree, reaching up towards the sky but all fully extending its branches outward, providing share and comfort for many.
As #reflectiveteachers, we need to be more like this tree. We need to both get AND give those strengthening foundations to both new and re-entering teachers of the profession with mentoring, guiding and supportive PLNs. To me, it is both in the receiving and giving of support to each other as educators that we develop those deep roots that keep us weathering the changes over time and keep up teaching. We also need to keep reaching outwards and upwards as educators, reaching for the sky and strengthening our teaching. This is done through both opportunities in school and others outside of the building. And there are many! Teacher can attend or present at workshops, participate in state and local organizations that can affect the future of education, find or start a PLN or website that deals with an area of interest to connect with other teachers, start a professional reading group at school...you get the idea. Find a way to be a leader or get involved outside of your classroom.
Moving upwards and outwards opens new doors and new connections for us all. These moments and opportunities help us to deepen our involvement in the profession, allow us to help others and gain new insights into our teaching, helping us to strengthen and deepen our belief and commitment to education and students.
How will you reach outward and outward as we close out the school year and enter the summer? There are lots of opportunities out there for the taking!