Archive for September 2nd, 2011

Having now been back to work, in a school, for three days, I am confident of one thing … school is not school without the students!

It has been wonderful to see and reconnect with my work colleagues, get my schedule, and hear of the new plans and initiatives for the school year. But … it does not feel like my job, it does not feel like school, if there are no students there. The building is NOT the school, even the staff are not the school. Both of those are valuable parts of ‘school’, but it is the students who make up, and who are … the school.

All parts that come together under the roof of the school, from teaching to non-teaching staff, from parents to guardians, from professional development to textbooks, from note pads to computers, do so with one purpose in mind … to teach the students who will attend there. And it is in they, the students, that our purpose for being there lies.

It has been a good reminder to me of what my job is really about. Although I benefit from my job (financially and with a sense of purpose and fulfillment), I am there for the benefit of the students, not the other way around. I am there to help them to learn, they are not there to help me learn (but, they do). I am there to encourage them, not they encourage me (but, they do). I am there to make their lives and their futures better, they are not there to improve my life (but, they do).

I hope that remembering why I do what I was hired to do helps me to do my job better. I hope that a month from now, I can remember how very boring and even pointless (not that it is, but it ‘feels’ that way) being at school without the students was, way back here in August.

The highlight of my day … meeting the family of one of the students I get to work with this coming school year … That was one step closer to what I was hired to do!

“…the fundamental purpose of school is learning, not teaching.”

Richard DuFour

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