All Our Children

children_at_school_8720604364By Stephanie Nicoletti

Just this past week I had a flashback to student teaching. My cooperating teacher was an amazing first grade teacher and I learned a lot of lessons from her, not only on best teaching practices but also on how to serve as a respectful educator, who truly is there to serve our children. The key word there is “our.” I vividly remember my cooperating teacher telling me that a second grade teacher came into her classroom, raised her voice at her, and demanded to know “why” a student was reading at such a low level. I was not there for the encounter, but what has always stuck with me is that my cooperating teacher said, “I would never EVER blame another teacher for a student’s abilities.”

I did not realize how much this story would hold true to me until I started teaching. There sometimes is still a mindset of “Not my kid, not my problem.” This profession is not about the adults, nothing we do is to make ourselves look good. Of course we want to better our practice, but only on behalf of the kids. We need to ask ourselves “What do the students I have right now need?”  Finally, it is time for all teachers embrace the students they have right now, not the ones they use to have or wished they had–as Lee Ann Jung said, “All students belong to all teachers.”

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