Meanwhile, my mind was racing. Hobbies, technology, art, craft. What could I parlay into an option. Over the years my peers have entreated me to join many creative pastimes, from sip-and-paint sessions to making your own pottery. My response has always been the same: “Not my thing.” Could I create an option for children that would compete with Fashion Design or Minecraft? Why do we, as fallible humans, feel like these expert-based learning opportunities—from maker stations to idea labs—are proof that we are not talented enough? Faced with opportunities to create, we ask: Can I, jack-of-all-trades, offer expert experiences?
As we navigated through a report on student outcomes a spark began to kindle. Data in the report showed that some of our female students were concerned about bullying. I pondered the challenges that face young women as they enter junior high.
Could I prepare girls to demonstrate empathy, feel confidence, solve conflicts, and meet the difficult challenge of liking themselves to the fullest?
Teaching is a demanding profession. It commands us to be our best selves every single day. It challenges us to be passionate, inspiring and empathetic. It is both overwhelming and supremely gratifying. Next time I am pushed to be more, from creating a power hour to design thinking, I will welcome the opportunity to look inwards and learn more about myself.
Lauren Purkiss, Bridges teacher. Specializing in externalizing behavior –leading by example of course ;-)