Up for a new adventure? I’m thinking about pitching a new television reality series: Survivor: The Classroom. Contestants are divided into tribes and individually placed in classrooms abounding with students and their varying 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 teachers are voted out of their respective classrooms 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 challenges the following year – because you are so good at what you do.
Face it – most teachers have been living this reality series for years.
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 seek out the people who give you strength and support. You know who they are. You laugh with these individuals. You cry with these individuals. Sometimes you just look at them and shake your heads because there are no words to describe the experience. There is strength in numbers, so find your tribe. I’m certain you’ll be better equipped to survive the crazy journey when you do.
PS – Though I repost this blog about every three years, this time we have had a special edition of show: Survivor: The Virtual Classroom. Donning face masks and loaded down with hand sanitizer, teachers jump from in-person to virtual platforms in the blink of an eye. The bonus this year is that parents across the country are getting a small taste of the exciting experience of being a teacher.
PPS – Tag your tribe in the comment section. They probably already know how much they mean to you, but it sure is nice to be reminded once in a while.