Whenever I hear the word “champion” I start to hear music. How could you not?
What exactly is a champion? According to Merriam-Webster, here are the top two definitions.
In the realm of education, we (or at least I do) often get caught up in race of test scores and teacher rankings. We want to win, to be the best, to be the champion (of the world!).
But really, that’s not the way to propel or profession forward. Instead of following the first definition of a champion which infers education is a contest to be won, we need to push further beyond ourselves and help one another to fight in support of a person, belief, or cause.
As educators, we are often fighting for a person – persons in our case – as we champion our students toward success. We create environments and experiences to help them uncover their strengths and passions in order to reach their full potential. We are our students champions. And it doesn’t have to just be the students in sitting your classroom everyday. Because of the way the project based learning program I teach in works, I interact with students daily that are not on my roster. I get to know them and work with them. It creates an awesome dynamic. You may not have this same environment at your school, but you can still look for ways forge relationships with the students in your school beyond the walls of your classroom.
Educators also fight for our beliefs. We believe every child can learn and succeed. We believe our profession is important and should be valued. We believe our education system is a beautiful thing even with its flaws. We believe we can make education better, make our classrooms better, make each lesson better than the one before. We believe that to teach is to constantly grow and learn.
And we fight for our causes. Personally, I love STEM. It’s a cause I fight for; one I hold dear. Do I expect that every student will end up in a STEM field? Of course not, but I think the focus on STEM will help some of our students find their passions. There are other causes we fight against, too, like the beast of standardized testing.
As you see, as educators, we are champions. As we champion in support of students, beliefs, and causes, the best way to be successful is to share. Share what works. Share what doesn’t. Share what needs to change. Share lessons. Share ideas. Share programs. That’s why I share on Twitter. That’s why I blog. It’s why I love leading professional development and writing online courses for my colleagues. Together, as we share, we become better. We become one another’s champions. And as we champion, we reach students in our classrooms all over the world. And our students will reach the future, and maybe (hopefully), they will change the world.
Maybe Queen was right after all. We ARE the champions of the world!