Thursday, May 7, 2015

Being A Teacher Means

If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. - Ignacio Estrada
It's teacher appreciation week, for those of you who are unaware. I write minimal education posts because that is not the mission of this website, but this week has special significance to me. So fellow teachers, this post is for you. You are truly education's heroes.

It isn't easy being a teacher. Unless you are one, it is really hard to understand the many things we do on a daily basis. It is 24/7 dedication, especially for those educators who are involved in more than just the classroom tasks. Many of my fellow peers in the career world don't understand the many different hats we wear.
Being A Teacher Means
Being a teacher means we never stop thinking about our students. We lie wide awake some nights, wondering what we could have done to help that one child learn better.

Being a teacher means we make sacrifices, whether it be of our time, our money, or our focus. We spend many weekend hours at the school, adapting lessons for different learners. We use our own money from our meager salaries to purchase materials our students will use and never return.

Being a teacher means we care, sometimes to our own breaking point. We hurt when our students hurt, whatever their situation is.

Being a teacher means we are flexible. We know how much can change in our classroom in the blink of an eye, and we can move forward without looking behind.

Being a teacher means we try to look beyond the frustrations in our broken education systems. We teach because our students mean the world to us, and we do this for them.

Being a teacher means we have to balance difficult parents and difficult situations. We often get blamed for things that are not in our control. We do the best we can, and try to have empathy when misplaced blame is put on our shoulders.

Being a teacher means that sometimes we are the only caring adult in a child's life. It means we look out for them and listen to them when few else will.

Being a teacher means having to be the authority figure and role model in our classrooms. Even though sometimes it is tough love, we teach our students to have discipline and respect so they go far in life.

Being a teacher means we aren't in this for the glory or the gratitude. It is often a thankless task, but we do it because it is our calling and our passion.

Being a teacher means we see our students as incredible young people, filled with so much potential to change the world. We want to inspire them to be better.
Being a teacher means we savor the good moments in our classrooms. The laughs, the learning, the stories, the "light bulb moments," the smiles. It makes those tough days more bearable.
Being a teacher means doing all of the "other things." The meetings, the phone calls, the emails, the copies, the grading, the grant and curriculum writing. We do it because we know it impacts our students' education and we have the power to change things for the better.
Being a teacher means we are advocates for our students and their education. We know they are our country's future, and we will speak up and be their voices.
Being a teacher means we shed tears of happiness after that student we had 3 years ago stops in to visit and says, You changed me for the better. You were my favorite teacher. Thank you.
Being a teacher means we take on countless other roles in our schools, whether it be coaching athletics or directing fine arts events. We do it because we want our students to have the opportunity and share our interests with them.
Being a teacher means we are always learning ourselves. We attend professional development seminars, take classes during the summer, and are always looking for more ways to better our teaching.
Being a teacher means we keep going. We have immeasurable endurance in our lives and careers, and we pass on those tips of perseverance to our students.
Being a teacher means we know we aren't perfect and will make mistakes. You'll find we're often the first to admit when we do make a mistake. What matters to us is knowing how to problem solve and find solutions to make our teaching more effective.
Being a teacher means we support our students in their lives. We attend endless concerts and sporting events in our community. We cheer on the sidelines and applaud their skills. We invest our time in the lives of our students because we care.
Being a teacher means we want to make a positive difference in the world.
Thank you, all you teachers out there. You are fighting a very important battle. Do not despair. And those of you who are not teachers: take some time to reach out to a teacher who was important to you. Your words will mean so much to them. Thank a teacher this week.

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