Growing up the son of a golf professional created some lofty expectations. As a junior golfer I remember standing by scoreboards and putting greens and hearing people mention my last name. At first, people only knew me because of my last name. I distinctly remember standing by a scoreboard after posting a decent score. A group of people approximately 15 feet away were talking about me. One comment will always stick in my head..."You know Gilpin's gotta be a good player, just look at who his dad is." I remember chuckling to myself. I didn't typically get bothered by the increased expectation. In fact, I sorta liked it. The expectation that I was good, just based on my last name, pushed me to work hard and live up to it.
My point is this, expectations are a mindset.
I learned at a young age that I can only control one person...myself. I remember life lessons from my grandfather, my dad, and one of my first bosses, Wally Sierakowski. I'm grateful for all the lessons I learned from them. I also found life experiences to be a valuable learning tool.
During my freshman year I remember talking to my dad. I was blaming one of our losses on a senior. I cited his poor round and the closeness of the match. My dad told me, "Bologna. You win as a team...you lose as a team." Simple as that. Once again I was learning life lessons.
My experiences growing up have shaped who I am today. I do believe we are all shaped by our experiences. I feel as though I look for the best in all people, but it's important to say that I truly hope for the best, not necessarily expect it.
As an adult I expect many things out of myself, but instead of expecting them from others, I always hope for the best. For example...
I hope teachers will prepare strong lessons that engage all students.
I hope staff will reflect on the day's events and look for areas to celebrate and grow.
I hope students will ask questions and put forth their best effort.
I hope parents will take an interest in their child's education.
I hope all staff will help foster a love of learning.
Those are my hopes, but I do have one expectation for others to follow. I expect professionalism.
What does it mean to be a professional?
following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.
of, pertaining to, or connected with a profession: professional studies.
This is the dictionary definition of a professional. I can only speak for myself, but I view Educators as Professionals in a layered view.
I realize professionalism can be a lot of things, and that's okay.
Being professional is general; in a way, vague. It can include attire/dress, conversations with parents, dealings with colleagues, what we post on social media and even disposition. This is why I see it as layered. Professionalism is a critical piece of who we are and what we do.
We've all heard the saying -
Educators can take note. As professionals our words say a lot. What we say in the lounge matters, what we say to substitute teachers matters, what we put in emails and newsletters matter.
I didn't always realize the impact of words and disposition. Some time ago I was approached by a volunteer. She asked to meet with me. She began with a compliment. She shared a compliment about a teacher. She said, "I don't have any students at Warner, but I'm so impressed with __________. This teacher loves kids!" She went on to talk about stumbling upon a conversation where the teacher was talking with another teacher and they were sharing student successes. As we continued to talk in the office she then said to me, I volunteer and work in many schools, most of the time I hear dissent and negativity...but I love being here because I see staff members that are all about kids.
Our words matter. You never know who is listening or watching.
I don't think all educators look at themselves as professionals. I wish they did. Educators are professionals and because of this we should take pride in all things education.
I have always tried to be positive, honest and dedicated. It's true, I hope for a lot of things...but I have always and will always expect professionalism.
This Week's Big Question: Do you view yourself as a professional?
Next Week At A Glance:
Monday, January 27th: 1pm 1:1 Tech Meeting
Monday, January 27th: Little Caesars Pizza Kits due
Tuesday, January 28th: TEAM meeting beginning at 9am
Tuesday, January 28th: Mobile Dentist visit
Wednesday, January 29th: Grades 3-5 assembly with SAU basketball team in gym
Wednesday, January 29th: TAT at 2:55
Wednesday, January 29th: Sarah from Time For Kids will be hear to speak with all grades during lunch or in classrooms. Look for a schedule on Monday.
Thursday, January 30th: iCreate Assembly/Field Trip to Westwinds for grades 3-5
Friday, January 31st: Western High School Open House
Friday, January 31st: Staff Meeting in Miss Howey's classroom (8am)
Friday, January 31st: 4th graders are singing the National Anthem at our home Basketball game!
Friday, January 31st: Last Day of Music until after Spring Break...gonna miss you Mrs. Fitz!
Articles Worth Reading:
New Family Tours: What do they expect? +Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy
Immortality of Stories +Angela Maiers @AngelaMaiers
27 Ways to Respond When Students Don't Pay Attention +Terry Heick @TeachThought
44 sunsets @Jonharper70bd
Why Do We Need To Learn This? @edutopia by Dr. Allen Mendler
The Oasis Within: Mindfulness practice for teachers @edutopia by Lisa Flook
7 Signs You Are Hanging With the Wrong Crowd +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel
She's Stealing My Thunder +Daisy Dyer Duerr @DaisyDyerDuerr
Snow Day +Tony Sinanis @TonySinanis
Improvement is the goal +Shannon Degan @shannondegan
The Thinking Wall +Josh Stumpenhorst @stumpteacher
Digital Citizenship: Not Just For Kids @PetticrewC
TMI - The Glove @ShutUpRun
Videos Worth Watching:
Educational Tour Bus...what a creative idea! (8 min)
Digital Youth Portfolios...I like this idea. (9 min)
Michelle Obama photobombs the Miami Heat! (1 min)
Finding My Voice: Inspiring Youth TedX Talk (12 min)