I have been spending time with each of the AIMS facilitators that are members of our national cadre. I have talked with each of them virtually via a Google Hangout as a way of checking in to review the previous year. I have come away from each virtual meeting inspired. I am privileged to know and be a colleague of each and every one of them.
One theme resonated with me as I finished my year-end meetings. Our AIMS cadre of national facilitators are passionate about being educators, but most of all they are passionate about sharing their expertise and being good mentors to other educators. They invest positive energy and expertise so they can make an enduring impact on the professional path of those whose paths they cross. Professionally, they embrace the opportunity to give back. They take on the responsibility of being caring and invested colleagues.
Each AIMS facilitator shared examples of professional investments they had made this year. I heard stories about getting to know younger educators. Some communicated great hope and optimism about the rewards of the teaching profession. Others shared their belief that they should model being a life-long learner. Many discussed opportunities to provide instructional support to new teachers.
As the Director of Professional Learning at AIMS, I can only smile. I know when a facilitator is out representing AIMS in a workshop setting, they continue to share these mentoring qualities with their workshop participants. Teaching is not easy. With looming teacher shortages in some areas of our country, and facts such as the average teacher only staying in the profession for five years, we need to keep a mentoring atmosphere in education. Research tells us that teachers who have the opportunity to work with mentors or receive some form of support from their schools and districts are more likely to stick with their careers. Support from a colleague in the profession allows a teacher to be a better teacher and ultimately helps their students achieve at a higher level.
I want to personally and publicly thank each of our AIMS facilitators for instinctively taking on the characteristics and qualities necessary to mentor others in our profession. You make a difference at your school, to your colleagues, and in the field while you are representing AIMS.
Here’s to hoping you have had a good mentor make an impact on your professional life.