#WhyITeachNow: Because Teachers Have Never Been More Important

by | 01.28.21

Tiffany Alexander is a Learning Specialist in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @Gr8_Teach.

I’ve been teaching for 13 years, and I’ve done a little bit of everything: working in school communities as an English teacher, as a coach, as an instructional specialist. I never could’ve imagined what COVID-19 would mean for me or for my profession. But every day, I have seen teachers lifting each other up, navigating uncharted territory together. And it’s been beautiful to watch. 

As educators, we know better than anyone that learning never stops, and this year, we’ve had to learn new technologies to continue our practices. One of my colleagues, an algebra teacher, was initially hesitant to use Flipgrid. She said, “I don’t know, this just doesn’t seem like math stuff. I don’t think I can do it.” But she knocked the lesson out of the park! She found a way for her learners to connect with the lesson, so they could explain the concepts  for themselves. Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone to reach her students where they are was awe inspiring.

I think the hardest part about being an educator right now is that we are natural “fixers.” We want to fix all the things, all the time. I’m always telling my colleagues that we can’t win every game – and that we need to be okay with that. Our main goal is teaching students how to think and learn. Are they developing the tools, capacities and skills to think critically and self-advocate? For me, there’s a lot of gold in that journey – even if we’re encountering challenge after challenge along the way. 

It’s my priority to make sure every member of my school community feels valued – that goes for students and for teachers, too. I want each of my colleagues to know just how powerful their practice is. I want to tell each of them: You are appreciated. You are valued. In this unprecedented time you have risen to the challenge and gone above and beyond for your students because you love them and you love what you do. I thank you. I am you. You got this!

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