Friday, March 30, 2018

31 Teaching Truths

Photo by Fischer Twins via Unsplash

30. Celebrate your spot on your district's seniority list.

When Franki texted me that we have both made it to the front page of our district's seniority list, I had to see for myself. Sure enough, there I am: out of the thousands and thousands of certified teachers in our district, I am #15. And there she is, hired just a year later, about fifteen spots below me.

Today I'm celebrating my rise from the newest hire to one of the most seasoned teachers in the district. I celebrate all the mistakes I've made, all of the successes I've had, and all the students I've taught. Hooray for a career that began with no computers and will end with...I'm not even going to attempt to predict the changes that will continue with lightning speed in the next few years. I'm glad I had a chance to be a Whole Language teacher in the 1980s. I think those years before the intense pressure of standards and testing gave me a foundation in student-centered teaching that has served me (and my students) well. I'm glad I staunchly adhered to my generalist stance all these years. Being a generalist rather than a specialist has allowed me to be a leader in the district in math, language arts, environmental science/outdoor education, and multiage/looping.

If there are thousands of teachers between you and the front page of your district's seniority list, don't despair, and don't focus on all the years it will take you to get to the front page. Take it one class at a time, one big project at a time, one new leadership opportunity at a time, one swing of the education pendulum at a time. 


  1. Many congratulations. It sneaks up on you faster than you think!

  2. Congratulations Mary Lee! This is also an award for following what's inside, not following a pack.


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