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Teacher Shares Four Things He Learned This Year

Teacher Shares Four Things He Learned This Year

While the daily rush can be overwhelming, post-holiday time offers a chance to reflect.

Ryan McCarty, a veteran teacher, shared what he learned in 2014. McCarty learned to look at "change as an opportunity for growth", according to an article on 

"This year was split in half for me," he said. "On June 1st, my family and I moved from Chicago to a tiny western Massachusetts hill-town of 1,800 people. We moved away from the friends and family we’d surrounded ourselves with for years, to an environment where, at least for a time, it felt like it was us against the world. The transition was tough at first, but we eventually found our stride. Though the field of education hardly ever feels like it’s slowing down, the idea that change can be an opportunity for growth is a powerful one, as we start the new year."

The second thing he learned is that "teaching is hard work."

"I recently had the opportunity to return to the classroom for a week, as part of the research I am doing for my dissertation,"McCarty said. "Though I taught for more than 10 years, and have coached and modeled lessons for the past several years, this was my first time running the show in quite a while. I taught four sections in a row of Junior U.S. History with a 25 minute “lunch period” in the middle. The experience reminded me of what a rush teaching can be: the need to be “on” every minute; the realization that the day ended and I hadn’t even had a moment to use the bathroom, let alone eat lunch; and the small, unpredictable “aha” moments in the minds of young people that make it worthwhile. It also reminded me that teaching is hard work — both physically and mentally demanding. Every teacher that endeavors to manage a classroom of 30 young people is working hard. Teaching can always be more effective and even the best teacher can improve, but hard work is part and parcel of teaching, and all teachers deserve respect for that."

The last thing McCarty learned is that "collaboration is a powerful thing."

"The work is too important to do alone, and I am grateful to be part of a team who is on this journey together," he said. "Likewise, the schools I work with who are doing the greatest work are not comprised entirely of master teachers. Rather, they are places with a strong culture of collaboration and a sense of a shared responsibility for the learning of all students. They work together in everything from planning, to looking at student work, to reflecting on how their teaching can improve. They have harnessed the power of collaboration, and their students have benefited greatly as a result."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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