They also say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
I believe the latter to be true...but I am no dog.
Some may look at me and see an old codger, set in his ways and unwilling to change. What they don't know is that I have always been set in my ways! Actually, to an extent, they may be right. But they should also look to see that I am open to learning new things...if they work.
Because of that, I also recognize that a veteran teacher can learn from many sources, one of which is youth. With the advent of having three new, young teachers on my team, I want each to understand that I am looking to learn from them. It may be difficult to predict, but I'm looking for:
- Fresh Energy For several years, I have worked with people closer to my age. Our team has been cohesive and open - much like actual brothers and sisters. Just as siblings grow up in the same setting but turn out completely different, our team has respected and celebrated our differences. Now, with me being the "old guy", I am hoping not to be put out to pasture just yet. I seek challenge and I can feed off of your energy. In many ways, I just want to teach from my chair, but I know that if I want to keep up with you, I have to keep moving.
- Fresh Ideas You're straight out of college and you don't know much about the real world. For many, those college courses did not prepare them for the actual classroom. Even the internships and student teaching did very little to get you ready. And 100 percent of them could not prepare you for working alongside of somebody like me. In 31 years, I have continued to develop and hone my teaching skills, every year introducing or trying new ideas for projects and lessons. I have not stopped searching for lesson fodder that could be used creatively in my classroom. That may be where you come in. While I am willing to share ideas and dreams, I hope you will be willing to help me out. I recognize that what I do can be improved, and it just may be that your brain is where that improvement originates. Help me by having your own original ideas and not just by spitting back the district mandates and standards.
- Ways to Pay Back I feel like you're supposed to learn from those who are more experienced in life. I've always tried to learn from past generations and even periods of history. I pray that you can find something in me to emulate and make your own. In giving, I hope to be rewarded with the smallest bit of legacy. Often, teachers leave and never return. Their names are quickly forgotten when the name plaque on the door is removed. That's a shame. The best deserve to be held in higher esteem than that. I don't need a stadium named after me, but it would be nice to know that something I do continues after I am away.