Water is the most interesting molecule I've ever studied. It's unique shape gives it a number of qualities you don't find elsewhere - for example, its solid form floats when placed in its liquid form (ice floats in water). I could go on and on about how and why it does this but I want to focus more on much broader aspects of water.
1. It is life-sustaining - about 60% of our own body is made of this substance.
2. It's powerful when in motion - we as humans know this firsthand. We often harness its power to generate electricity but we also know what happens if we fail to anticipate its power (the devastation of floods). Many of you are also familiar with the notion of 212 Degrees: that one degree of difference in the temperature of water will power a steam engine.
3. If left stagnant, it can become a breeding ground for pathogens that can make us extremely sick unless it is treated. And the dirtier the water, the harder to treat.
We as teachers are like water - we can be life-sustaining (and never doubt this point - you do not know what each child is dealing with outside of your classroom), we can be powerful, but if we allow ourselves to become complacent and stagnant, then over time it will become more and more difficult to get ourselves back to the point where we can be life-sustaining and powerful.
Our world is ever-changing and, in fact, is changing at a more rapid pace than ever before. We could try to resist the change but that would be as futile as standing in the middle of a flood and expecting not to get caught in the current. Or...we can ride the current and harness the power of the change.
How do we "ride the current?" Mrs. Kelli Duke shared an awesome article with us this morning called Technology in the Classroom for Struggling Teachers and though it is technology-focused and the audience is intended for struggling teachers, there are a few key points that I want to pull out of it for you that are completely applicable to EVERY teacher:
1. Try something new and try to figure it out.
2. Ask for help! (Keep in mind that your students - yes, those little ones sitting in your room every day - are a wealth of knowledge and are silently begging for you to give them an opportunity to shine).
3. Don't expect to be perfect. And don't expect to be an expert - no one is.
4. You know as much as other teachers. Yep! You do!
5. Believe problem solving is fun.
6. Google can be your best friend. Have you ever wondered how Kim and I find answers? I can guarantee it's not all just hanging around in our brains.
And this last one is all mine...be positive! "Being positive does not mean ignoring the negative...being positive means overcoming the negative."
You have the power, you just have to harness it!