In a recent conversation in my #4OCFpln Voxer group, a comparison between surgeons and teachers, and how teachers should share new knowledge like surgeons was discussed.
While thinking about surgeons, I was struck by another analogy. When someone has a surgery, the phrase “surgery team” is used when discussing the upcoming operation. In the operating suite, there are surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, other technicians, and even students learning the art of surgery. Hopefully, this scenario seems familiar…
When in planning meetings, don’t you have just as many people around the table? Teammates, instructional coaches, administration, even the occasional student teacher? Just as each person in an operating suite plays an vital role in the success of the operation, each person in your planning meetings are essential to the success of the students in the school.
Surgeons save lives. They fix problems to improve a person’s well-being. While not as flashy, and certainly with much less money, teachers are saving lives, too.
They save lives by building relationships with students, empowering them to own their learning, and giving them the opportunity to truly belong somewhere. A teacher might save the life of a student who is being bullied by simply being there to listen. Another might encourage a student to learn something new, thereby changing the career path and that student’s future. Yet another teacher may give a leadership role to a previously shy student, boosting their confidence for years to come.
While it might not feel like it when you are in the trenches, you save lives every single day.
Holly King explores this similarity further in her recent blog post “Teaching: Compared to Other Professions”.