Author: Dawn Mitchell
As the end of May nears and this incredible year of first experiences for you draws to a close, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be part of your journey as a first year teacher. As you navigated the first days of school, first month of lessons, first report cards, first parent teacher conferences, first class parties, first field trips, first tornado drills, and first state wide remote learning during a global pandemic, you also built a foundation of who you are as an educator. These “firsts” have helped define your priorities and your perseverance.
As I reflect back, I have realized that every year is a time of new discoveries and of new learning.
I want to share with you a quick lesson from Joy Jones’s book, Private Lessons: A Book of Meditations for Teachers. She writes, “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know. I feel more humble standing before a group of students today than I did the first time I walked into a classroom (and I was plenty nervous that day, too!). The magical thing about teaching is that I continually discover new things about my subject: when students ask me questions I can’t answer or point out a slant on a concept I never considered.
"But the most profound learning has come when a situation in the classroom becomes a mirror for my own behavior, when an aspect of my self is reflected and a new side of me is revealed.”
“To teach is to learn twice.” – Joseph Joubert
I want to leave you with a call to reflect. Take some time to revisit your thoughts and the goals you set for yourself at the very beginning of this journey. As you reflect, consider how you've grown and what factors and experiences have contributed to this growth. Consider the next goals for yourself, for the 2020 - 2021 school year, and for your students as well.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year!
South Carolina ASCD President