It only took a few moments for the office door to swing open and for one of my Language Arts teachers to come barreling into my office.
"Craig", she said, "We have to fix this!"
Little did I know that for the next 10 minutes I would be getting one of the greatest reminders of my professional career.
The reminder: We are always students.
The given: Anyone at anytime can be the teacher.
For me I have always known and humbly accepted that I have a ton to learn when it comes to the work I do. My teachers would clearly state that I am far from being the most brilliant person in the room. They will tell you (to no surprise) that it is my ability to surround myself with the minds of brilliant people like them that makes us tic. We are a collective group that feeds off of each other.
Our relationships allow for moments such as this.
So here it was. A crisp afternoon and my 8th Grade Language Arts team had decided enough was enough. "He has to learn to use an apostrophe the way they are meant to be used," they said. And, even though only one appeared in my office doorway (the one closest to retirement drew the "short straw") I knew all three were there in spirit and I knew that they simply wanted what was best for me.
We are fortunate. We are working in a climate that allows for risk-taking, failures and celebrations of successes. And, we don't take that for granted. We have worked hard for it to be this way.
Regardless of your place on the academic ladder, continue to find opportunities to be the student and the teacher. Hopefully you work in an environment of listeners who are willing to be better. If you are not, see what you can do to change that. Take your turn in both roles. It's worth it.