Up for a new adventure? I’m thinking about pitching a new reality television series: Survivor: The Classroom. Contestants are first divided into tribes, and then individually placed in classrooms abounding with students struggling with cognitive and behavioral challenges. With minimal supplies, hit-or-miss bathroom and lunch breaks, and sporadic support from outside resources, participants compete to educate and enlighten the students with whom they are charged. Although contestants are regularly ranked by standard assessments, the real judges are the students. Each week participants are voted out of their respective classroom until one contestant remains and is crowned the winner. “And what special prize does do receive if I win?” you ask. You get a whole new crop of students with even more special challenges the following year – cause you are so good at what you do.
Face it; most educators have been living this reality series for years now.
What is the lesson? As we move toward the end of the school year, find your tribe. This may or may not be your grade level or department team, but you need to seek out the people who give you the most strength and support. You know who they are. You laugh with these individuals. You cry with these individuals. Sometime you just look at each other and shake your heads because there are no words to describe the experience. There is strength in numbers, so find your tribe. I know you’ll be much better equipped to survive the journey when you do.
PS – If you haven’t read The Goose Story, Google it. It is a nice summary of the importance of finding your tribe.
PPS – Forward this post to your tribe. They probably already know how much they mean to you, but it sure is nice to be reminded once in awhile.