Shaping America’s Youth: aka My Why

This may sound a bit unorthodox but one of the reasons that I started teaching was for the camaraderie and collegiality. Not just the eating lunch with like-minded folks but the fact that I have a built-in support system and mentors with ideas by which I can get better. Most people that I work with, teachers as lay folk may refer to them, will give a list of world changing ideals for choosing this profession and don’t get me wrong teaching is, as I see it, the most efficient way to affect the change that I’d like to see in my community and the world. Yet a contributing factor in this “change the world” decision was the fact that I would get to not only work with but collaborate and grow with amazing people like the EduTryGUYS.

Most of the “Guys” have already given their account of our origin story; some down-to-earth teachers wanting to push the envelope and make education better for all of the stake-holders from students and teachers to admins and boards. In the end that is a part of our shared vision but therein lies the magic of the whole thing; a shared vision. One might assume that all teachers are some form of liberal hell-bent on indoctrinating students to share their vision of a new world order but this common generalization couldn’t be further from the truth. I can speak for all of the Guys when I say that central to our vision of teaching is the idea that nothing happens in our classroom without first making true, meaningful, and purposeful relationships with each and every student that we see. Therefore, as anyone who has ever had an impersonal argument with an anonymous user of the same comment section can tell you, there’s no way to communicate and transmit information and ideas without having an environment of mutual respect and safety. My students, and I’d assume those of most teachers, can see through any attempt to feign interest or care, whether for them or the content, and that disingenuous pontificating ends in nothing but a stale and apathetic atmosphere where nothing meaningful can happen, let alone teaching and learning.

That’s the shared vision, the one thing that really binds the EduTryGUYS together; the belief that it all starts with having a genuine desire to form a relationship with those that we are entrusted to transmit knowledge, prepare for the future, or just plain caring for. Of all of the Guys’ talents, whether it be Bill's vast experience leading other teachers, Jay’s desire to make his content lasting and relatable, Jason’s hope in creating a world of individual creators and not consumers, Jeremy’s love of streamlining and un-complicating the entire process, or Brian’s shear wealth of knowledge and love of his content, that which binds us is our love of the student as a person. A person with dignity and potential with dreams and struggles and a person that is worthy of the numerous hours we put into our teaching and learning. Without the belief that students are fonts of infinite potential, that a student is NEVER lost cause, we wouldn’t be the EduTryGUYS, we wouldn’t be friends, and we wouldn’t good at our jobs, period. Am I some expert on the teaching profession? No and I’ll never claim to be. However I do have a willingness to try new things and genuinely share what I learn works best and that’s what this new journey is all about!