Monday, January 4, 2010

Day One

    It's January 4th, 2010. I'm getting ready to go down to The State Department of Education in Trenton tomorrow to meet with leaders of important initiatives. I can't really believe that this moment is here - that I am on the first day of my sabbatical for the job of the New Jersey Teacher of the Year - 2009-2010. Everything I have ever learned should come in handy. I'm hoping that you - my readers - will help me along, to give me perspective and to add your voice to the mix.
     One thing is true - I'm going to report it as I see it. I am fascinated by education and how people learn. We all have strengths and weaknesses and have to learn how to deal with them as we go through life. This sounds really simple, I know, but everyone - I mean everyone - has to deal with his or her own shortcomings. It's like this big sack of stuff that we carry. We have to learn to love it and deal with the fact that sometimes it gets lighter and other times it's darn heavy. We can’t let it drag us down. It's the human condition.
     Oh, I know - it doesn't seem fair. Some people just appear to sail on through without much to carry at all. But one thing I've learned is that we can't know what another person's challenges might be. It could be shyness. Maybe it's so much creativity and energy that it's hard to keep it all in, to sit still. For others, it's the fact that support is limited. Still, for others, it may be grinding poverty. Everyone has something in their sack to carry.
     As a teacher, I try to figure out how to lighten the load. I want to understand: What makes you tick? What burden do you have? How can we work together to make learning easier?
     This year, I'm going to try to learn more about teaching and learning by listening well to many people. Maybe to you, if you give me the chance. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk a lot. Sorry for that, but I'm bubbling over with things to say. Still, you have things to say too and I need to quiet down and give you the space to talk. Because when we listen, we learn. The cup is useful because of its empty space. We need to empty out sometimes and give ourselves time to process. We have to hear many voices and perspectives to understand.
     So, here we go, together…


Anonymous said...

Go Maestra!! We'll miss you =D

Linda Roberto said...

What an amazing chance to experience all that our state has to offer in education. Enjoy all that comes your way. I am very happy for you. You are one in a million, very special. Best Wishes, Linda

dra said...

Felicidades maestra - te vemos este jueves cuando viene NJN Classroom Closeup para grabar tu clase de 4H y su charla sobre la medicina tradicional y alternativa durante la convención de médicos del mundo hispano

Maryann Woods-Murphy said...

Thanks for these comments! I really appreciate them and it's nice to know that you are out there in cyberspace!