On a normal school day I get up, have my cup of coffee, get dressed, eat breakfast, pack my lunch, and head off to school. I have done the same thing for more mornings than I can count. This morning however, had just a little more excitement! After I had gotten dressed but before I packed my lunch I heard an unusual noise. I looked out my front door and found that one of our neighbor’s goats was wedged between a building and the fence AND he had his head, horns and all, stuck through the fence. Now, I was raised a city girl but I’ve learned a few things in 32 years of country living. Unfortunately, being a “goat whisperer” is not one of them. I frantically worked for 20 minutes to try and free that crazy animal’s head from what I thought was sure death! After having my fingers pinched between goat horns and fence wire several times, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to be able to save the poor thing so decided to call around the neighborhood to find someone stronger to help me. Promising the goat I would return I quickly ran inside to use the phone. Would you believe that as the phone was ringing on the other end I looked out the window and that dumb goat was gone!!!! He had freed himself and was back on the top of the hill with the herd!!! ( now you decide who was the dumb one…him or me!)
Sometimes, being a teacher is a little bit like my goat friend this morning. Decisions that are out of our control are made and the results wedge us into places we don’t want to be. What we know and believe to be true about children is overlooked and expectations are placed upon us that are cumbersome and unrealistic. Of course, most of us do all we can to try and accomplish what is asked of us, all the while working to help our students be the best they can be. And just about the time we start to figure it all out, the expectations change again and there we are stuck just like the goat with someone who doesn’t have the skills to help, trying to push us in a direction we don’t want to go. I truly believe that if the powers that be would offer teachers the time and opportunity to find their own way, they would be surprised at how quickly it would free us to practice what we know to be right and allow us to lead our students to the top of the hill, right where every “kid” should be!