My very first experience as a classroom teacher, was filled with so many different emotions and thoughts. I remember walking into my classroom of twenty-eight first graders, looking into their sweet little faces, and my head began to whirl. I was SO pumped to be their teacher, but terrified of the responsibilities I had for each student, for their academic and social-emotional growth.
I have been teaching for almost ten years. Over the course of those years there have been ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and sorrows. These moments are often shared with colleagues who become close confidants, whose relationships evolve into a friendship that spans time and even continents. Relationships are the key to surviving the teacher’s life. Often those close friends are the ones we run to when sharing the human experience through the eyes of a teacher.
According to George Couros, relationships are the foundation of learning and innovation. That is one serious truth nugget! That goes for ALL relationships. Without relationships, we would be up a creek and in trouble. Those relationships help us to process strange and new ideas. They help us find encouragement and build self-confidence that will help us when we are taking a risk and venturing out into uncharted waters. Relationships are key because when facing problems, successes, or innovative thinking that takes your breath away, your person is right beside you rooting you on! That friendly face is what we need in the human and teaching experience and it’s what our students need too in order to open the door, heart and mind to innovation.
Mena T. Hill
Educator, Wife, Mother, Colorado Native