"The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self."
Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
Teachers, YOU.ARE.AMAZING! I’ve been fortunate to be spending my days face-to-face with teachers on the front lines; getting to see first hand what classrooms look like right now in the midst of a pandemic and great division among all peoples. I’ve read and listened to newscasts that reveal the laws that are limiting teachers and the consequences that are already taking place. I’ve spent hours with administrators struggling to find teachers, experienced or not, who are willing to place themselves into the many challenges that have been added to this profession.
Yet, you come to meetings with openness and fresh ideas. You receive support and yearn to grow yourself. I am humbled by your willingness to investigate the trauma that you are facing in your own lives so you may discover the dynamic you bring to the classroom born out of your own struggles.
It takes courage to be a teacher these days.
I read a lot of Maria Montessori’s writings to gain insights to our work with children. I read a lot of Brené Brown to find personal insights and inspiration for myself. Brené reads a lot of EVERYONE!
But the following quote finds its way into her heart and her writing so often that in the hundreds of times it's passed through my consciousness, it has become embedded in my own thoughts of courage. It’s been occupying a great deal of reflection space this week as I visit schools, hear the concern and caring of teachers and administrators, and strive to offer them what I am able in terms of support.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
You dare greatly each and every day, dear Teacher,…and for that I am immensely grateful.