I derived the title from one of my favorite slogans: “Run your own race.” Teaching should never be a pure competitive sport. In a similar way, I think it’s healthy to “Teach your own teach” and let others teach theirs. We all bring a set of skills to the table and the more your value that the more you’ll be satisfied in your job. It can be easy to walk by the window of one teacher, hear a shout and tell yourself, “Oh my, she must yell at her students a lot.” I would urge you to give them the benefit of the doubt because for all you know that teacher could be giving kids the best lessons you’ve ever seen day in and day out. That could be an isolated incident or there could be some other reason you heard that. The mental energy you spend thinking about other teachers an be much better spent planning and delivering excellent lessons.
Then there’s the super great looking classrooms. They can be so intimidating can’t they? You waltz in after a staff meeting for grade level collaboration and it looks like Michaelangelo stopped by to decorate their walls. Rivalry and jealousy are real in teaching. Sometimes they lay below the surface never uttered and other times they are set off by an event, a person and you say something you regret. I suggest that we respect all teaching and all teachers the same. Whether she/he is teacher of the year or a rookie intern who delivers pizza at night. We are not the ones who evaluate and we should remember that. Let the systems in place work for us and for others. Okay, now I’ve give you the message: go to your classroom and stay focused on your own path … run your own race … teach your own teach.