Teachers: Supporting Each Other

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My former colleague Mary Spiker is currently living the dream. She has just won the honor of Idaho Teacher of the Year and has been spending this week in Washington with the other 49 winners as guests of the White House. She has been posting amazing experiences on her Facebook page and I've been eagerly following her on this adventure. I received a message from her yesterday that really touched me and made me reflect on how important colleagues are in our professional life. This is her message: 

I just want you to know I am currently enjoying Washington Week” as Idaho Teacher of the Year. Today I spent the day at ASCD where we each had to share about a colleague who inspired us to become the teachers that we are today. We had to get it down to 30 seconds and then they filmed us talking about that person. ASCD will make a mash-up of all the stories shared. I spoke of YOU! Here is what I said... remember I only had 30 seconds which I had to condense down from five pages.
”I still remember the day I walked into Kathy’s classroom. I was swept away by the different opportunities provided. Her children didn’t just learn about science, math, and writing - they BECAME scientists, mathematicians, and writers. I wanted to be a child in her classroom! Her love for her students, teaching, and learning was evident in everything she did. I actually told her “I ASPIRE TO BE YOU!” To this day I reflect on the things I witnessed and as a result I am creating the researchers, writers, and scientist of tomorrow.” Thank you!

I have had many many colleagues along the way during my quarter century as a teacher. I have learned something important from each one of them. Thank you Mary for your kind words, and more importantly, thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on the many teachers who have crossed my path. We are in this together and together we can always achieve more! May we all spend more time lifting one another and less time circling the wagons and shooting within. Thank you to all of my dear colleagues who have lifted me up, and represent, Mary Spiker.