It isn't easy being a Pirate! To be a forward thinker who is willing to take risks and fail publicly. To be passionate about education in an all consuming manner that people look at you weird. It is challenging to live the life on a daily basis. What I have realized in my experience as a Pirate is: well that could be a long post in itself because there are many things, but I will focus on just a few. I have mentioned that being a Pirate is difficult, but something I like many other have chosen to do. We all have our own individual paths that have led us to TLAP and this calling. I realize in my daily reflections how unpirate like I was early in my career, and how much growth I have seen in my practice and passion for education as a result.
A major revelation to me on this journey is that it took both challenge and support from colleagues to get me here. I needed people to tell me I was doing a good job and that I was making a difference when I was struggling. I also needed others to challenge my thinking and educational philosophy when I wasn't doing what was best practice, or meeting the needs of my students. I needed a balance to not get to high or low in my view of my own practice. I always have room for growth and I am not a great teacher. I don't think I ever will be. I am someone who strives for greatness however and that has allowed me to continue to grow, learn, inspire others, and be relevant to students and education in general.
Sorry this post isn't supposed to be about me, but I find it hard not to reflect on my own struggles and journey when looking at this week's topic. I couldn't have made it to where I am without my supporting cast. This doesn't mean I am a rock star and they are the roadies, but rather they are the people who I rely on to gauge my current reality. These are the people who allow me to take risks and fail at times but are there with the safety net. They are people who push me to try new things because they believe I know what I am doing. They are people who call me out when I am not rocking the Pirate lifestyle and my methods don't measure up.
I hope we all have people like this. Those who make you want to do better and help you when you need that extra push. These are not those who simply agree with you because they don't like to make waves, but rather challenge your practice of giving extra credit for a sugar cube pyramid or bringing in boxes of tissues. They ask you why are you assigning homework, or that particular task? What do you want students to learn, and will your assessment measure that?