A Plink in the Bucket!

October 24, 2017 by Teaching and Learning Blog 69 Views
Impact is defined as having a strong effect on someone or on something. Teacher leaders have an impact, positive or negative, with every interaction that they have whether it is with students, parents, community members, or peers. Often times teacher leaders are pulled in multiple directions with the various responsibilities that they take on in their leadership roles whether it is the school play, the parent resource room, the community garden, or the school committee, teacher leaders feel the responsibility for making sure that each of these is successful and executed to the best of their ability. When teachers fully commit to executing these roles, they can feel as though they are only making “a plink in the bucket!”
Yes, I speak from experience when I say I too have felt as though I have only made “a plink in the bucket!” The bucket looks daunting when little ole me is the one trying to fill it up. The examples that I gave above are roles that at one time or another as a teacher I supported on top of what I was already doing to ensure that instruction was top notch each and every day. However, I pushed through and realized that my personal role within each one of those events was vital to “filling the bucket.” I looked to other teacher leaders and made goals. I talked openly with them about the work. I looked at the project and considered the work involved. I played a part in the success or failure of each activity, but remaining focused on the task helped me be able to get everything accomplished. Teacher leaders must remain focused rather than becoming disillusioned. The “plink” actually does have
over time in filling that bucket.

There are many articles on teacher leadership and the opportunities to get involved equally abound. In a report on Teacher Leadership (http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/wholechild/fall2014wcsreport.pdf ) for ASCD, Tanya Tucker is quoted as saying, “Teacher leadership is critical for really helping a school building build their capacity to increase student learning and student achievement and not only what that teacher does inside that school building but how that teacher leader works with the larger community to drive engagement and support for school goals and for increasing youth success.” This is the “plink in the bucket” that I was talking about. Our work begins in our classrooms, but extends to the greater community far beyond our classroom walls, our buildings and neighborhoods. We each play a role in having a “Greater SCS” which ultimately leads to a “Greater Shelby County” community.

As I bring this post to a close, I want to challenge teacher leaders across our district to be transparent; remain focused; build networks; take risks; but most importantly to be a “plink in the bucket” that impacts a “Greater SCS.” Believe in the lasting impression that your work has not only in your classroom, but in your community.
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