Throughout our world, there are a vast number of Lighthouses. They sit aside the shores of uncertain waters and shine their beacon to help guide sailors and ships. They come in all shapes and sizes, and serve all types of coasts like harbors, inlets, rivers, or islands. No matter where it is located, its purpose is always the same; to guide ships safely and successfully on their way.
Teachers are much like lighthouses. They sit aside the classrooms of uncertain school years and provide guidance to the students that come their way. They, too, come in all shapes and sizes, and serve all types of schools like public, parochial, home schools, private, and charter. No matter where teachers are located, their purpose is always the same; to guide students safely and successfully on their way in education and life.
Lighthouses need a keeper. Without them, the lighthouse may fall dark and sailors may be lost. It requires a person of dependability and courage; a person who would check the fuel supply, trim the wick, keep the lenses and windows clean, stay with the light well past its initial lighting, and so much more. If the lighthouse were left alone, it would become ineffective.
Teachers need someone to care for them. They often have families to provide this role, but what about at work? Who sees that they have fuel to continue in the hard work? Who checks that their flame is not burnt out? Who helps them see clearly into the “dark” of ever changing mandates and curriculum changes? Who might stay with them well after the children have gone home to delve into data or create new resources? Who is the teachers’ keeper?
My role as an Instructional Coach has provided me the opportunity to support my colleagues with professional development, filtering and making sense of data and mandates, staying late to hear the teacher’s story of his/her “stormy” day, and to even provide the fuel of chocolate, nuts, popcorn, or humor to get through the day. In a sense, I get to be the Teachers’ Keeper.
It’s not an easy job. I struggle in my work too, but I know it is important. By supporting my colleagues (the Lighthouses) I am affecting the lives of students (the Sailors) that come to our school each day. That’s what’s really important…that students are impacted by the Lighthouses.
This site, I hope, may provide you with additional support that you might need in your work as strong and amazing “Lighthouses” guiding students to Sail into Success.