18 Years to Achieve Greatness

When the bell rings tomorrow afternoon it will be the end of my ninth year of teaching. That means I will officially be 1/3 of the way through my 27 year teaching career and that scares me to death. I’m a third of the way in and still am not a great teacher.

How I Got Here

It was my junior year of college when I switched my major to education and shocked nearly everyone who knew me. The natural choice for me was a degree in public relations and marketing. I was an accomplished public speaker, served as an Ambassador for the University of Kentucky and managed the P.R. for my family business for years. Everyone just knew I would find a successful life in the corporate world and live happily ever after.

I still don’t know why I changed my major to education. I honestly did it on a whim one day after getting very frustrated with a Journalism professor and it was the best decision I ever made. Don’t get me wrong, there were days when I had my doubts. My student teaching experience was TOUGH. I look back on my journals from those four months and laugh about I frustrated I was and how I didn’t think I would ever make it as a classroom teacher. Turns out I just had an amazing supervising teacher who knew what she was doing. Ms. Hack was just ensuring that I was prepared when I got my own classroom. During student teaching I encountered all kinds of trials and tribulations and as a result my first year teaching was actually pretty easy and from there the last nine years have flown by.

 Here I Am

It all sounds like such a fairytale and in some ways it has been. The problem comes with the fact that I don’t want to be a good teacher I want to be a great teacher. In the last nine years I have immersed myself in degree programs, professional development opportunities, professional learning communities, and online and print resources to try and get great but I feel like I still have so much to learn and do before I am a really great teacher.   This summer I will do what I always do I will read, plan, attend PD, and brainstorm ways to be even better next year in hopes that sometime in the next 18 years I can finally find greatness. Every kid deserves a great teacher and I hope one day that is me.

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8 thoughts on “18 Years to Achieve Greatness

    • Thanks so much. I do the best I can but I think in the end we all know there is more that we could have done. It is a pleasure to work with you! You are a great colleague to have. Looking forward to lots of department work with you next year!

  1. I’m finishing my first year teaching, and it has been incredibly hard, but I’m grateful that I chose a job where I am still happy to wake up in the morning and head to work. I think one of my biggest assets has been always trying to be as humble as possible. Humility is our greatest asses, both in working with students and pushing ourselves.

  2. Dear Mrs. Powers,

    The great ones never think they have achieved all of their goals. This keeps them hungry, and is what drives their greatness. They feel confident and competent, but never satisfied.

    Whether you find these words comforting or depressing, they are true.

    Teach on,

    Mr. Danielson

    • Maybe a little comforting and depressing at the same time. Ha! I agree the best teachers always do feel like there is more to do. I am looking forward to the next 18 years but hope the don’t go as quickly as the last 9!

  3. A good teacher always believes they can be a better teacher. When you stop feeling like that it’s time to stop.

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