Teacher Evolution

Maura O'Reilly

Tags change, growth


When I started teaching, I had no idea how much I would change over the years. I didn’t realize I would be resistant to change, then embrace it, then become overwhelmed by it. Constantly learning really didn’t occur to me in those beginning years. I thought I had done my time as a student and now I knew what I was doing. I also believed teaching hadn’t changed in the past and wasn’t going to change in the future. It took me several years to realize - or maybe to accept - I was going to need more than just my bachelor of education to succeed as a teacher.

Now I realize that everything changes and those changes often mean improvements. Teachers have been around forever but that doesn’t mean the craft stays the same. Socrates was a very successful educator thousands of years ago and his method and teachings are still important today. But because learning is constantly taking place, there is constantly room for improvement and updates.

That can be so intimidating. Soooo intimidating. It’s like looking at the menu and wanting to try something new...but what if you hate it? It’s safer and easier to stick with what you know. A ship is safest in the harbour - but of course, that’s not what ships are made for.



I never really understood or thought about what it’s like to be an English-language-learner until I lived abroad and started studying Spanish. It really opened my eyes to what my students were dealing with. There is huge courage involved in going ahead and trying something you don’t feel comfortable doing. There is also great comfort and joy in trying and succeeding. You can’t feel that if you stay tethered to the dock.

That’s not to say all change is great. Some ideas are bad. So bad. But attempts to make things better have to be commended. Change is happening, and if the changes don’t work out, we learn from them and keep going and growing.

I now embrace and enjoy the idea of becoming a better educator, of learning new things. There is no end to the knowledge that is out there. I really do want to learn something new every day. Ideally at a low cost and without too many assignments....perhaps with refreshments provided...maybe throw in a free hat or key chain.

Currently, I am trying to decide what course I’d like to take. I’ve narrowed it down but can’t decide. There is so much to learn! 

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  • I agree, Monica! We have to set the example – from which we benefit!

    Maura O'Reilly

  • I think that people miss out on life by staying moored in the harbour. I love your analogies and your experiences. You have stated the truth about teaching and learning. Teachers should always be learning along with their students. I think that if we don’t set the example of being life long learners, our students don’t buy into the importance of being life long learners. Get out of the harbour – set out to sea.

    Monica Jacka

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