I could go on and on. Over my twenty years of teaching, naturally I've left a trail of constantly changing practices. As the sayings goes, I was doing the best with what I knew. The main thing is that I was doing my best. I'm reminded to give myself a break when I think about the kind of education I provide my students now compared to twenty years ago or even only five. I'm beyond grateful that my best continually expands and becomes better.
It also reminds me to give others a break. I will admit that it's easy to be critical when I hear of certain practices that are occurring in classrooms. I'm required to show others the same grace that I show myself in light of the changes I've made over the years. I often envision the teaching profession as a long path that seems to have no end. It's scattered with teachers but all at different points. They're all moving, some faster and some slower. Then I spot myself. I can see how far I've come. I look back to where I used to be and there are many teachers at that point. I must show them grace. I can also look ahead to where I'd like to be and I see many teachers up there as well. I hope they show me grace.
I know that the moral of Allington's quote is that our students are impacted by our best. Wherever we happen to be on the path of this profession, our best must constantly become better. The more we know, the better off our students will be. And along the way, we can show grace both to ourselves and others.