Teaching, Failing, and Learning

"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well."  (James 3:1-2)

When James (a brother of Jesus) wrote this letter, I don't think he was referring to middle school math teachers. But I feel the same pressure of responsibility and accountability.

I wrote yesterday (on my other blog) about my new job. Or my renewed job, back at Lead Academy, where I was a long-term sub last fall. Now, I'm back as an even longer-term substitute.

I'll be teaching four classes: 2 sections of 7th grade math, 8th grade math, and algebra. And at the risk of revealing my nerd-ness, I do love math. (I took an extra calculus class at Furman, as an elective. Who does that?)

But it's one thing to know how to do something. And it's a whole other to know how to teach it.
". . . as such we will incur a stricter judgment." 

Why I Love Lead Academy

Overall, I'm really excited (though nervous) to be back at Lead Academy. The culture of leadership and high expectations at Lead is not common in all public schools (or all private and home schools, for that matter).

I've listened in (literally and over email) on conversations these teachers and administrators have. They are holding themselves accountable to engage and teach the entire student body, from one end of diversity to the other.

Homeschooling has worked great for our family. But for what it's worth, if we didn't homeschool next year, my every intention would be for my sons to attend Lead. Hannah would thrive there, too, but she'll be in high school this fall.

Failure Is Never Final

I heard Rodney Johnson (principal at Lead and a former teammate of mine on the Furman football team) speak at a breakfast the other week. He shared some words that exemplify his philosophy of education:
"We should not treat 'fail' as a four-letter word. We need to help students learn to bounce back from failure."

I know I won't be perfect as a teacher. I will "stumble in many ways." But in those times that I fail, I will bounce back and learn from my mistakes and persist and get better.

It sounds like this will be as much as a learning experience for me as it will be for my students.

If you would, please check out Lead, Again, to learn three ways for how you can pray for me, my family, and my students.

"Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education."  ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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