For over 95% of our students, over all those years, being in my classes was little more for them than just a job, with little of the joy of communication, and too much memorization and focus on lists of words, semantic sets, thematic units, etc. They accepted it and I accepted it.
As a result, professional sadness ruled my days, and of course, professional sadness is of such a nature that it gets into our personal lives – it just seeps in. I thought about getting out but since I couldn’t do anything else, as people told me, I taught. (They said that people who can’t make it in real life teach, and I believed them.)
And all had way back then was the textbook model! What a disaster! And that model was just too hard to break and still the mix of the oil/textbook and the water/CI continues. The lie continues. Mission statements that have nothing to do with what teachers are actually doing in their classroom. Real human communication, which is inherently lots of fun and the actual standard, should be the goal in any language class, but it was getting the shaft, and still is, and we all know it and still never think about immersing our instruction IN THE RESEARCH and maybe actually writing a real mission statement.
So, as odd as it is to be even be thinking about writing an honest mission statement here at the end of my career, now that I understand that my job is not about getting approval and “just getting through the day”, and now that I know about presenting classes that adhere to the Communication standard and to the research, I think it’s time to write a real mission statement.
Perhaps sharing an honest mission statement with some of my colleagues – those of open heart, those whom I trust here on my PLC – those who might want to actually stay in teaching by giving their all in an attempt to align what they do in their classrooms with the almost-sacred research and with the Communication standard and with honest things – will give some of the younger teachers in our group hope and confidence to stay in the profession, because they see in a real new mission statement something to believe in:
Mission Statement: (to follow in next post…).