Yesterday, my very dear friend and former colleague, Carol, called me. She said, “I called to brag. Is that OK?” Of course the answer is YES.
Then she bragged. OH.MY.GOD. She got her test scores [Actually all of California got their test scores. They were released to the district who released them to the principals. If teachers have them, it’s because of the principals] and was going kid by kid to see what they were. What they were…. 29/30 proficient or advanced in ELA and all 30 proficient/advanced in math. YOU GO GIRL.
I’d seen a brief snapshot of my scores. They aren’t that good — by a long shot.
However, I don’t begrudge Carol at all (although I am jealous and envious). In fact, this underscores a message I’ve been trying to get her to accept for some time. Carol, for those who don’t know her, is pretty unassuming. She’s incredibly humble, and she would NEVER toot her own horn. She feels that she’s just an ordinary person and doing her job. She does tend to see the negative side of things (a bit like Eeyore), but she’s really not a negative person. Thing is, what she is good at translates in the classroom.
She is consistent, on task, follows the pacing, doesn’t get wrapped up in drama, is exacting, and expects the students to work. She is hard-working, organized, and gives continuous feedback. She is loving and generally builds a good classroom community. She does what she can and tries to make sure she’s doing what needs to be done. She doesn’t worry about “making it interesting for the kids” because that takes away from what she needs to do. She is nose-to-the-grindstone, moving ahead, having some fun, expecting results.
I am so proud of her. Mind you she says, “It’s who walks through your door. You know that.” That’s true too. She’s at a school where the parents are more involved, talk to their children, supervise homework, and volunteer at the school. Still, whether she likes it or not, she brings her own brand of special to the classroom.
I’d love to emulate her, but I can’t. I’m too dynamic and wild. However, I have been slowly modeling myself after her for years. First in making sure the classroom is clean, neat and a welcoming environment. Then with not getting drawn into drama. I had a couple of cases this last year, but not as much as before. Now I’m working on delivering what needs to be delivered. There will be time enough for play, but make sure 80% is on task.
Of course I’m envious. However, knowing how hard she’s worked, how little praise she’s received from previous principals, and how she’s compared herself to others, this was a win she deserved.
Good going Carol!