I have been teaching for first and fourth grade for 9 years.
“Thank you Mario, but our Princess is in another castle”. If you have ever played Super Mario Brothers ©, you are all too familiar with these words. You faced them time and again when you joined Mario on his inexorable pursuit of Princess Peach. Here’s how it worked; Mario risked life and limb making his way to a castle where Princess Peach is reportedly being held. However, when he conquers the castle our gallant hero is informed that the princess is not there, she is in fact “in another castle”. Mario then begins another journey, through another perilous world, to another castle in hopes of finding his princess. I recently dug out my old Nintendo © and played through this game, again as I met that disappointing message after each castle, I couldn’t help but draw a sobering parallel between this game and the field of education. “Thank you teacher, but our students aren’t ready for college.” Yes teacher, you gave it everything you had this year. Yes teacher, you spent endless hours aiding your students on their journeys. Yes teachers, you risked life and limb to accomplish your task (for some literally, for others figuratively). Yet you still didn’t meet the mark, we didn’t reach the goal, you didn’t beat the game. So what do we do? For many, the default answer to this question is “turn around and try it again”. We as teachers tend to “do what we did last year” and hope for a better result. We replay the castle you just beat hoping the princess will somehow be at the end this time. My proposal, try another castle. As an educator I am on an endless quest to find the right castle. To innovate, think creatively and problem solve to create an environment where my student can be successful. I am always searching for novel ideas and new ways to reach my kids. I’m not afraid of change and will continue to teach in another castle.
My building was gracious enough to vote me Teacher of the Year 2015-2016
I am a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a duel degree in Elementary Education and Exceptional Needs Education.
Check out my blog at inanothercastle.weebly.com Follow me on Instagram @teachinanothercastle
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