Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#GreatTeachers are #alwayslearning

Over the past year, I've been working to build a new hashtag on Twitter that I may or may not eventually try to launch into a chat. (My Twitterfriends Rik Rowe and Jim Cordery have been very encouraging in this regard!) The hashtag is #GreatTeachers, and I use it to post pithy descriptors of what I view as great teaching. (Tricky, because I am not so big-headed to think I'm a "great teacher"...but I do think I'm a good teacher--maybe even with moments of greatness--and I am always trying to learn, and get better, and hopefully get closer to being "great.")

It is in that light that I tweeted the following earlier today:

I had some retweets, favorites, and comments in response. (That is always so affirming!) The best comment? One from my chemistry-teaching Twitterfriend, Safia. In a series of tweets, she shared this in response:

That means a lot to me. The first lesson I taught was a coke and mentos lab, and in one section, I kept having premature detonations. At the end of the day, all the kids loved the lesson and learned a lot about the scientific method, but I felt bad for messing up in that one class on my first day. I apologized to my mentor teacher and told him I should have planned better and I'll be better tomorrow. He told me off for saying that, and that I have the signs of becoming a great teacher one day. #DreamingBig
via @Finetraces687

I asked her permission to share this story, because I think it is so inspiring.

Teaching is the sort of profession that can sometimes seem to suck the life out of you.

Some days it is just plain hard, thankless work.

Some days are rough.

Some days we aren't good teachers.

Some days, we might even feel like awful teachers.


If we humble ourselves enough to realize that we don't know it all, that we can always learn...we will get better. We can always get better. Maybe we won't become "great," but that doesn't mean we shouldn't aim for greatness!


  1. Thank you for inspiring me almost every day!
    Teachers like you motivate me to keep improving myself for my future students's learning.
    I have a LONG way to go to become a great teacher!

    1. Safia, I think you're well on your way! :-) Thanks for taking the time to comment.