Did I do enough? Did I do all I could? Teaching is full of ends and beginnings, a constant cycle of looking forward and looking back, both blessing and curse. Indeed. With each beginning, I wonder at the opportunity and possibility, inspired by hope. But, with each end, I worry about the outcome and impact, haunted by doubt. A year and a half ago I began a journey with my student teacher, Maddie Alderete.
Then, I was inspired, an opportunity to learn and grow. And now, at the end, I am haunted. Did I do enough? Did I do all I could to arm her with the tools to be both scientist and artist in the classroom? Remarkably, it is not all that different from how I have felt all too often in my career as I bid farewell to my students in June. My cycle of hope and doubt. And though I would expect that one year I would eventually learn that hope trumps doubt, wisdom eludes me, and I play the part again, forgetting that doubt fades and hope triumphs. But then I remember. Just as now, as I write, my doubt diminishes and hope emerges from a new beginning. Yes, one journey ends today. Maddie is done. But she’s also begun. And as I look back on our journey, I am reminded of her hard work, her eagerness to learn, her challenges, her successes, and most importantly, her impact on kids. She is ready. Whether I did all I could is irrelevant; she is ready. And as she begins her new journey next month at Connell High School, she will shine in her moment, a moment that will mark the beginning of a brilliant career for an incredibly talented and dedicated young lady entering the best of professions. Welcome aboard, Maddie. I am so proud of you. Thank you for all that you have done for me.
This marks the last “Morning Minutes” of the year for letschangeeducation.com. I will continue when we officially launch our mission in January, when I hope all of you will contribute by joining the conversation, armed with the conviction that your words matter. They do.
With that, I wish all a happy and safe holiday season. And as we prepare for the new year, I will leave you with a link to a video that my student Kiersten created for her project on procrastination https://youtu.be/_-zWxuEdjoY. Take care. See you in January.