Happy 2014-2015 School Year from MONGOLIA!
As I look ahead to a new school year in a new country with new responsibilities and extraordinarily few resources, I cannot help but reflect on the past year’s travels.
I believe myself to be the most fortunate theatre teacher in the United States because last year I was able to visit over 40 schools’ Theatre programs and communicate with another 30 teachers about their school situations. I owe every one of those teachers a debt of gratitude. I was amazed and impressed by all that I saw & read & learned - not because of what teachers did or didn’t have, but because of how successfully they used what they did or didn’t have.
And although I often had precious little for resources in the states, I saw teachers who had less - for there will always be a teacher who has less. Now that I am in Mongolia, I work with teachers who have even less than the most desolate teacher in America…almost every teacher in this country falls into this category. And a Theatre teacher in Mongolia is an absolute luxury, but no school has a Theatre space of any kind.
So, as I begin this new and exciting year, I have a few reminders to myself which may pertain to all of you as well:
**Look long and deep into the eyes of each student who crosses the threshold of my classroom - therein lies the reason I am
here. Those students are not going to learn better because of a SmartBoard or a tablet in their hands, because I have
1,000SF of teaching space or 40SF, or because I have every supply imaginable or none.
**My students are going to learn because of my passion, enthusiasm, encouragement, and excitement about educating them.
**My students are going to learn because I chose to be there, because I chose to teach, and because I chose to care enough
to look into each and every eye of each and every student who crossed my threshold.
**I will make the connections, develop the relationships, and help each student find a reason to want and love to learn…and
each student will learn.
**I will remember, even on my most difficult days, that my students are humans, prone to beautiful imperfection, whose growth
as humans with whom I want to live in this society will be more strongly influenced by who I am and how I teach than what I
**There is no social, economic, familial, mental/physical/psychological or cultural reason that I cannot reach every student
who crosses my threshold…even if I have to carry them across it.