I have been mentoring one of my old students who is now a teacher. She is working at a small town school, you know the drill: five preps, not a lot of support, hitting her wall in May. She is currently sincerely doubting whether or not she is cut out for the profession. She is questioning her career decision.
Here’s the thing: every teacher in their first year questions whether or not they have made the right career choice. It is a right of passage. If new teachers do not doubt their choice, they will never fully buy in to the profession. Our profession is not one that the teacher chooses, but the profession chooses us. It chooses those of us who value the power of the future. It chooses those of us who believe there is something better in store for our society. It chooses those of us who believe in the power of the collective.
Because it is a profession that chooses us, we must question it. We must poke and prod until we are sure we are capable practitioners. We must explore and question how we affect students and their families. We have to prod with the big questions to make certain that what we do is working.
It is when we stop asking big questions that we, in this profession, are dead in the water. It is when we stop poking and prodding that we no longer create hopeful change.