February 25, 2015
Today’s college graduates have many exciting choices for beginning their careers. Forty-six years ago next month I made a choice to “teach children for a few years” before going on to another profession. This choice was made because of a love for watching children learn to conquer their fear of water and learn to swim. After forty-six years in education watching children conquer their fears and helping them understand their individual character traits is still one of the most rewarding experiences of all time.
Watching children acquire knowledge and skills provides opportunities for the “teacher” to discover new approaches to life and learning. Each child learns differently and applies understandings to problem solving in unique ways. Watching a classroom of individuals find distinct ways to apply knowledge and then reach common or even unique paths of understanding is (like watching a hundred different sunrises each day!) a privilege to watch and a great way to learn!
Having the gift of watching children grow into adulthood and discovering how they apply learning to their careers and in the raising of their own children is a gift almost beyond measure. On an almost daily basis I am fortunate enough to come across former students and to observe how the skills and knowledge they taught each other in elementary, middle, high school or even graduate school, have helped them become the successful adults, parents and contributors to society in the present day. What is also remarkable is that no matter whether these individuals are internationally known or are simply living life entirely on a local level, the ways in which they have applied their skills and knowledge have greatly contributed to their success in relationships, families and careers.
In June of 2015 I will finish my third term on the Niskayuna Board of Education and thus my formal work with the Niskayuna School District. These last nine years combined with my 37 years of teaching experience, I will have had a total of 46 years in education. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each of my former students, their families, my colleagues on this journey and in the community for the wonderful experiences these individuals have provided, for the contributions they continue to make to the quality of life not only in the Schenectady area but throughout the world and for the absolute privilege and joy of discovering new areas of knowledge due to the inspiration they have provided and continue to provide each and every day of this journey.