I have been preparing for my plunge back into the kiddie pool since last Tuesday when I learned I would be teaching again. Tomorrow is the big day. As I have been preparing I realized I had lost much of the knowledge and skills I used on a daily basis when I was teaching. I […]
I have been preparing for my plunge back into the kiddie pool since last Tuesday when I learned I would be teaching again. Tomorrow is the big day. As I have been preparing I realized I had lost much of the knowledge and skills I used on a daily basis when I was teaching. I have never felt the truth of the statement that administrators lose touch with the reality of the classroom within three years more purely than right now. I decided to give myself a dry run on teaching today by visiting another class. As I sat in front of 15, 3 year-olds I realized I didn’t remember how to play even my most basic of songs for kids. I hit the wrong note, sang badly, and even had to ask the kids if it sounded right.
But, I did it. I can see how an administrator could lose touch with the reality of teaching. I can especially see how it could cause them to really change how they interacted with the teachers in their charge. I had forgotten how hard it is to motivate that many young children to move in the same direction of learning. As I rediscovered my knowledge in skills I felt like I was finding things I had forgotten I needed.
Its been like digging through my old toy box.
I also found some things I know I won’t need anymore. I won’t need to feel that pressure to make children conform in order to drive instruction like I did when I was teaching before. I won’t cut children off if they are talking about things that aren’t in the curriculum. I will be present, in the moment, responding, leading, challenging, encouraging, and loving the children right in front of me.
Maybe that is what happens to administrators who leave the classroom. They forget about all the knowledge and skills in their toy box and just throw the whole thing away. Maybe that is why the line between those who teach and those who lead schools should be blurred. If the the administrator re-learns what was important to them about education (and gets to keep their toys) and teachers learn what really matters in the bigger scheme (and realize that some toys are necessary) we have a more balanced learning environment.
The video above is one of my favorite stories to read to children. Can’t wait to do it again.