We watch a fair amount of baseball around this house and the words rookie as well as veteran are often heard. It seems that there is no in-between, no equivalent of “middle age” and there needs to be. I think in other fields there are various distinctions and since I know teaching well I will deal with the field of education. I have found that for teachers we distinguished between 1. First year teacher 2. New teacher 3. Experienced teacher 4. Veteran teacher 5. Near retirement teacher.
Some people moved pretty quickly from one to the other because there isn’t one formula or way to gain the experience. How does a teacher become a veteran teacher? Time and wisdom are part of the equation but so are certain experiences.
Veteran teachers seem to understand the art of teaching. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. And they have many of these experiences in common.
1.They still love their students.
2. They don’t always love the administration.
3. Someone has thrown up in their classroom.
4. They’ve organized multiple field trips many of which have been spectacular. One was definitely not.
5. They have cried about something that happened at work.
7. They’ve spent their own money on supplies, classes and kids.
8. They have come to school because it was easier than getting a sub.
9. A student has asked them to adopt him or her.
10. A parent has called the principal to compliment them and complain about them.
12. They have a really good story that will be told at their retirement party.
13. They don’t care if they are viewed as cool.
14. A student has called them something inappropriate.
15. They have graded papers in odd public locations.
16. They have questioned their decision to stay in teaching.
17. They are proud of being an experienced teacher.
18. They have had to leave their own classroom because of a bodily function.
19. They have helped students on their own time for no pay.
21. They have comforted a student in tears.
22. They have antacids or chocolate in their desk for medicinal purposes.
23. They have had to have a delicate talk with a student about boogers, B.O. or peer interaction.
24. They have a teacher face or voice that has popped out away from school.
25. People guess that they are teachers and it makes them glad.
Here at the end of the school year, I salute all the teachers as they get through the last days. Stay the course!
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I have written about education before. There are lots of good ones here.