WHAT WE DO
We are the teachers of District 155.
We love our jobs. We care about our students. We are proud of our district.
You know what we do because you were once a student. You know the public part of our profession. Yes, we create and deliver lessons, as well as evaluate how our students learn through homework, tests, and essays. But do you know what we do when we are not in front of students?
Before the school day begins, a teacher puts the finishing touches on a letter of recommendation for a student whose GPA is not quite what his dream school requires. A teacher attends a parent meeting for a student with accommodations to discuss her progress and specific needs. A group of teachers meets to analyze the data from a recent test to determine how to change the lesson design or re-teach a skill. Another group plans ways for the whole school to improve literacy.
In between lessons, a teacher answers an email from a parent concerned about his child’s homework completion. A teacher confers with a social worker about a student who seemed anxious during a recent class discussion.
During lunch a teacher researches how the new Common Core standards will require changes to her curriculum and another registers to attend a conference relevant to his specific professional goals. One tutors a student who needs extra support outside of class while another participates in a session on integrating technology into the classroom.
In the afternoon a teacher replies to a student’s potential employer, having given her email address for a reference. When a shy, yet enthusiastic student approaches with a fundraising form for an activity or athletics, a teacher pulls out his wallet to purchase the cookie dough, coupon book, T-shirt or mums.
After school a teacher heads to the field for practice. Another gets on the bus to the tournament. We coach and supervise athletics and activities because we know how much these benefited our lives during our own school years. We know that some lessons--communication, competition, teamwork, perseverance, empathy, and service--are as imperative as those tested.
After dinner with our families and when our own kids are in bed, our profession calls out to us again. Teachers give specific feedback to individual students on their drafts of next week’s writing assignment. We search for the right video clip to introduce a new concept. We read blogs by experts in our specific disciplines to learn new ways to teach familiar ideas. We smile as we read emails from former students thanking us for influencing career paths.