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Friday, April 5, 2013

You Are the Cheerleader

Lean to the left,
Lean to the right,
Stand up, sit down,
Fight, fight, fight!

When I began teaching 30 years ago, a wise veteran teacher told me, "You need to honk your own horn." Now let me tell you: I wasn't really keen on this advice. Raised in a middle class midwestern family, modesty was driven into me at an early age. But this proved to be one of the most valuable pieces of advice ever given to me.

With the Era of Assessment upon us, teachers must demonstrate their effectiveness more than ever. I say, "Let your classroom (and hall) walls do the talking." Displaying student work and photos of students involved in learning is essential. Of course, you can also share with parents through newsletters and websites.

When you're out in the community, talk it up. Let others (friends, family, community members) know about the important work that's going on in your school and your classroom. Become a cheerleader!

Why should we cheer?

  • Our communities, which fund our schools, need to know that their dollars are being well spent. They, in turn, will become cheerleaders.
  • The public, which has somehow soured on our noble profession, needs to see that we are competent, caring, and hard working. They, in turn, will become cheerleaders.
  • The parents, who can be the best assets or our biggest nightmares, need assurance that their children are in good hands. They, in turn, will become cheerleaders.
  • The administration, who hold our evaluations in their hands, need evidence of our effectiveness. They, in turn, will become cheerleaders.

It's time to inject some positive energy into our profession, and who better to do it than a cheerleader?