Take a new teacher by the hand and PAY IT FORWARD!

Pay it forward! It wasn’t just a movie and it’s not just an expression in my world. Those three little words are ones I try to live by at work, on the open road, and in my personal life.

If someone does something nice for me, then I thank them, but I ALSO try to pay it forward to someone else. Hence, I handed off my conferring toolkit for the first unit of study to a first-year teacher in my school the other day. I wasn’t sure if I should do it since she’s super-bright and has her stuff together, but then I thought about Pat Werner, my first Literacy Coach. Pat took me under her proverbial wing during my first year of teaching in East Harlem and guided me like no one else has ever guided me. She helped me out in more ways then I could even list here. Therefore, when I saw my old conferring toolkit I had created in 2006 and used in 2006, I decided to hand it off to a teacher who I thought could use it right now. By golly, it was the least I could do!

I’m one short week away from starting my fourth year of teaching. I have a LOT to learn, but I think I know a decent amount. Hence, I decided to share a bit of what I had with a new teacher. Please, do the same! Even if the person you offer the material to doesn’t use it, you’ve at least shown them that you care and that you’re there for support, which is all that a first-year teacher needs to know as they walk into the abyss of their first year in the classroom.

Feel free to leave comments on how you’ve decided to pay it forward.

Oh, and a HUGE shout-out to Pat Werner, who helped me survive my first year of teaching. Here she is commenting on a former student’s work at one of my first publishing parties: 150-5089_IMG