Opinion
Education Opinion

Celebrate and Embrace

By Hanne Denney — September 25, 2007 2 min read

I just took two days off from school. My husband and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary - 25 years! I have been married more than half my life. It has passed so quickly, and usually happily. It’s the only thing I’ve done for that long - except for mothering.

In my school, like most any school, a lot of the teachers have many many years in the classroom. I look around and see combined centuries of experience. I like to take advantage of their experience - I now have only 3 years in - by asking questions and seeking advice. I celebrate the past through these teachers. These teachers are practical and knowledgeable. But some of our long-term teachers are not very enthusiastic, and react dubiously to new ideas. I hope I am not offending anyone, because I know experienced teachers have often “heard it before”, and know why something may or may not work in the school. I’d just like to see a more positive attitude. I may seek out long-term teachers for information, but I don’t go to them when I need an emotional lift.

I like to talk to the new teachers, the ones just arriving in the classroom from college or from other careers. These new teachers, without the experience, ask great questions and aren’t afraid to answer their own questions with new ideas. They are enthusiastic and energetic, and arrive each morning with a positive face. Sometimes they come to me for an emotional lift, and I can give it to them by pointing out the markers of classroom success - a student who is excited by the class, or a procedure completed well. One of our new special educators struggled to write her first IEP, and when she was done, she was able to help another educator complete the same process. New teachers like to share, because they are eagerly gathering information and tools from others. I embrace the future through our new teachers.

I’m the older teacher, without much experience, who tries to come in with a positive attitude each morning and a smile for each professional in my building. I try to get help when I need it and give help when someone else does. I’m keeping my spirits up, and hope I can do something for yours.

After 25 years of anything, you can grow jaded, even bored. You can forget what’s good and dwell on the bad. My husband and I spend three days together, enjoying the company, sharing memories. We also spent time talking about our dreams for the future, and what we could do and what we couldn’t do. OK, no waterfront beach house in my future. But maybe we could do longer vacations, in faraway places. We might even get some new ideas. We have a lot of experience together, and we’re trying to look ahead with enthusiasm. We’re having a party this weekend with friends old and new. A hug to my husband for a nice anniversary.

Celebrate the past, embrace the future, and keep your spirits up. Advice for my husband and myself, and for my school.

The opinions expressed in In the Middle are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.