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From the Front of the Classroom

To complete this weekend's assignment, I viewed things through the lens of those standing in front of students. I did this after recently speaking to a group of teachers. I discussed some of the core concepts of 50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need to a group of "weary, burned-out educators" (their words). We discussed passion. We talked about what excited them, what they wish they had more time for, their gripes about the recent administrative challenges, and how they could be drawn once again to whatever it was that made them want to become teachers in the first place.

It's easy to see things from the student perspective. After all, each of us has been there, some more recently than others. This recent Fast Company article about Michelle Rhee makes you easily happy that someone is looking out for students. A screening of Waiting for Superman will surely make you question the motives of unions. Seemingly, therefore, the debate can be one side versus the other.

Or can it be something different?

As the son of a teacher and the son-in-law of a principal, I've seen what the educating profession does to people - what it offers, how with strengthens, how it depresses and stretches thin, and how it works (and doesn't). But standing in front of 50 middle school teachers, I finally felt it.

The world of work is changing, even for teachers. It's good to see things from a different vantage point, especially when you can get a sense of all the obligations, demands, strains, and pressure that is heaped upon someone.

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