It is always nice to be recognized, especially when it’s unexpected recognition from your superintendent.
This is my 3rd year teaching. For the first 3 years in my district, new teachers need to complete a portfolio. The portfolio focuses on your student growth goals and professional goals, as well as a reflection piece. The portfolios are turned in at the beginning of March and our principal passes it along to the superintendent.
I received an email yesterday from our superintendent regarding my self reflection. In short, he enjoyed it. For him to take the time to personally email me made me feel very fortunate to work in a district where this kind of thing happens.
In case you are curious, here is part of my reflection:
“What is it that makes a teacher finally feel like they’ve got a handle on things? Is it how neat their classroom looks? Is it how much growth their students have shown? Is it how detailed their plans are, or how put together they look on paper? What about how many times they’ve made their students feel loved? Or how many times they’ve made their students laugh by being silly with them. Maybe it’s the way the teacher feels at the end of the day, when she shuts the lights in her classroom off and goes home, only to keep thinking about her students and what she can do tomorrow to make it better than today. Maybe it’s when she can seamlessly reflect on her daily experiences and continue to learn and grow from them without feeling like she failed; only realizing that every experience is a learning experience and that she, too, is exposed to new things every day, just as her students are. Teaching is different to everyone, but to me it’s the confidence to make a mistake (even in front of students, teachers, and administrators); the ability to take criticism, advice, ideas, and opinions and reflect on them to adjust or change your teaching style; the courage to try something new, even if you’re unsure of the outcome; the strength to love even the toughest of behaviors, and the attitude to make the classroom a fun, safe, and loving environment for your students to learn and grow academically, mentally, and emotionally with your genuine smile and encouragement.”