I believe that in order to be strong at something, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.  Simply put, my five strengths as an educator are:

1. I put my students’ learning above all else (I hold sacred all things student-learning-related). This includes letting go of grudges against those who try to take away old crutches of the past, such as uninterrupted class time, prosecuting chronically absent students, and actually punishing students who disrupt class. Letting go of these things allows me to put one thing at the forefront of planning, teaching, reflecting, and developing professionally: student learning.

2. I am resourceful. Whether it means seeking out the answers to my questions, trouble-shooting a student’s poor performance on an assessment, or simply figuring out what to do when YouTube won’t play or I realize I copied the wrong paper, resourcefulness is definitely my strong suit.

3. I am a hard worker. I am a hard worker to a fault: I spend late hours working on things for other people, and perfecting my own work to eek out every last benefit. I have a very serious problem that I like to call “I-can’t-say-no-itis”.

4. I am very flexible. This relates back to #1 and #2. No matter what happens in the class period (tornado drill today), I am very good at the old “monitor and adjust” in order to squeeze out the most learning from every “learning situation”.

5. I care. I care about every aspect of my students and their lives. I want them to learn, yes, but I want them to also have a good life. I want them to be successful. I want them to nail their lines in the school musical. I want the volleyball team to win. I want them to go home at night and have food on the table. I want them to be able to feel loved and cared for by someone. I want their parents to know that they have an advocate in me; that they can count on me to work with them, help them, and love their child almost as much as they do. After all, isn’t that the kind of person I want to teach my own children?