Weekend Work Well Spent

When I started at my middle school four years ago, the school had just taken on the challenge of become a Middle Years Program school under the IB program. At the time, just happy with a job, I thought little of it. I set up my classroom and focused on surviving my first year in the school.  I've spent the last three years talking about the program at staff meetings, sharing the stress of authorization, and trying to make sense of all the pieces of such a large program. Still, it didn't feel as though I had figured out what this MYP thing really stood for.
So, when a training made it's way in to town I jumped on it. How could I pass up a chance to get formal training from the IB program, from the people who know it best and understand all the pieces and philosophies? It meant giving up a weekend, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
And what a weekend it turned out to be. I really REALLY read the IB mission statement for the first time. Not just a glance as I poured over documents- but a really good look at it:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end, the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

As our presenter said-- it's unabashedly optimistic. That phrase, "unabashedly optimistic", pretty much sums up my attitude towards public education, and reading the mission statement almost made me feel like I had found a kindred spirit. Suddenly, it hit me. This is not just one teacher I found to talk about how the world can be better through education- this is an entire global connection of educators who not only believe this, but have worked to make it a systematic and implementable thing

So, for three days, I just absorbed. Words I felt like I've just been floating in for the last three years became tangible and real. Ideas that felt unfocused and out of reach in my past MYP work became focused and doable.

I got the energy surge.

The surge. The desire to work, work WORK until I get this right. To go to work early, to stay late, to think, to struggle. The desire that drives me when I know something must be done because I can make things better and brighter for my students. I can make things stronger and learning better- and when I suddenly realize I have the tools and knowledge to do this, I can't rest until I do. How could I?

1 comment:

  1. I hope my own children have great teachers like you when they are in middle school. That's a tough age and transitional period. Having an awesome teacher like you who loves to learn and discover new things and better herself is the kind of teacher I want my children to have.