Eight years ago I went to the union sponsored retirement seminar to see how many more years I needed to teach in order to walk away with something. I had been teaching fifteen years and I was so sick of it.
I learned that making it to twenty years would give me more benefits than if I stopped teaching before then. So, I kept going, maybe not for the best reasons, but I kept going.
Six years ago I learned my school was closing and we would be moved to neighboring schools. I've read several bloggers whose careers have been through this transition. It's difficult.
Five years ago I moved to the school where I teach now. It was a rough move. I had transferred schools before, but not with 200 students transferring with me. My coworkers were fabulous and supportive. We survived that first year, but it did nothing to convince me to keep going.
About the same time, our district adopted highly scripted curriculum in both math and literacy. I felt asked to set aside everything I know about teaching and moving into a tiny box. "Keep to the pacing guide." "Follow the script." Don't they realize what happens when you tell someone to just sit there and wait for instructions?
Three years ago, I submitted my first product to Teachers Pay Teachers and started blogging and writing my own curriculum in a systematic way. I found the creative, caring teacher again. As the holes in the highly scripted materials became evident, I had a world-wide set of tools to use.
I know that when I'm bored, I'm not an effective teacher. I love the exchange of ideas teacher bloggers have. I know this has been the best professional development, I've ever had.
I guess I just wanted to say "Thank you."