A drive around the world...

Today was a day of driving. I went to a meeting for Thirty-One, a company that I am trying to start a side business with, then went to the Apple store, then home. It doesn't seem like much, but I think it was about 160 miles round trip.

Being on the road is a metaphor for my life and this summer, adventure after adventure, opening the horizon for more in the future. Six thousand miles of our nation, hills and flats, corn field after corn field, has me examine what I want to create this year.

Teaching is a career that is like the Indy 500, not a race for the pole position. In the many years I have been teaching many things have changed...the financial backing for schools, class size, Common Core State Standards, testing expectations, and the family/student dynamic. Don't get me wrong...students are still students, but the things that they must battle and/or confront have increased in difficulty, as has my job as an educator.

I believe that all students can be successful, my mission to open the doors of education to all students regardless of their ethnicity, socio-economic standing, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. I want all students to push themselves beyond what they think is possible, expanding their horizons.

This summer's drive made me think about these students and the persistence required for both my students and myself to ensure their success. The flat and monotony of the corn fields of Iowa, reminded me of the middle of the year when pushing on is difficult, but necessary. We passed many different types of corn (blue, red, decorative, etc) which changed up our view, something I need to remember during those monotonous winter months. The excitement of getting to the 2013 MTM-CNM Conference reminded me of those times when we are getting close to holidays or an exciting event at school (dance, assembly, etc), and the need to stay focused on our task at hand and not get swept away in the excitement. The long, flat, hot drive through South Dakota reminiscent of the spring when we are winding things up and the trip into Yellowstone like the coasting into the summer.

The flat tire on our trailer, broken humidifier for our son, move of our daughter, and the longest trip we have ever taken, a metaphor for flexibility, innovativeness, and persistence.

This year has the potential to be the best ever...if I can remain focused on the long term, and
remind my students to keep their eye on their prize...knowledge, power, and success.

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