What should we really be worrying about as educators? While there are many important things that kids can demonstrate and we can learn through acquiring data about that learning, in the end there is one thing that must be considered above all: what value have we added…
When I say this I am not talking about value added measurements, but instead about the value we add to a person’s life. It is infinitely harder to quantify, but none-the-less incredibly important. When thinking about this question as a teacher I ask myself the following questions:
Did I help foster a love of learning with this person?
Are they in a generally better place than they were before my class (within my control)?
What did they need coming into the year? or What did they want from the class coming into the year?
Did they get that?
Ultimately, the final question needs to be: Did I do more good in this person’s life than harm?
While these are not simple questions, and in some respects can be very difficult to answer honestly and effectively, they are the backbone of what education is truly about. Are these kids better prepared for life because of the fact that they know me? If your answer is yes (at least more times than not) than you are on the right track as a teacher.