Once an acting principal, young and full of zeal, knew just what to say to encourage and motivate her staff.
She was also clever. At one of her weekly meetings, she provoked all who attended to think about why they get out of bed each morning; why they chose, and continue to choose, to teach.
The responses varied from wanting to see the light in the eyes of a child in that “aha’ moment when it all comes together, to being inspired by a wonderful teacher when they were young, to leaving behind a legacy in the souls and spirits of children, and (my favourite) because every day is a new, unpredictable challenge that makes you feel alive.
It’s easy to think about why teaching is hard, how educators are overworked and under-resourced, but we too often neglect to recall why we got into teaching in the first place, and why we go back into that classroom each and every day.
For me, I do it because I’m passionate about education. I truly believe that a good education can allow anyone to change their circumstances, to write their own life story and to live their best life.
I also do it because I see myself as a doctor, of sorts.
I conduct diagnostic tests and do check-ups. I find where student learning gaps are, and then prescribe methods and training regimens to develop their weakest muscles.
I make sure kids are aware of where they’re heading (they have goals) and I help them to follow the right path that leads to greater strength in those areas.
I do it because every time I get taken off class, even for just an hour, I return to a rock-star’s reception of hugs and beaming faces.
I do it because it allows me; nay, encourages me, to be constantly curious. On the look-out for effective ideas, relevant resources and powerful pedagogy. https://ateacherislikeacandle.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/candle-inspiration/
I can go with the flow when things change (again) and see these changes as an opportunity to be creative and to explore what’s new.
So take heart from the knowledge that the job is tough, that you will be consuming yourself a lot- perhaps sometimes more than you’d like to or think is fair- but your efforts pay off.
Everything you do is lighting the way for your students. And that’s pretty special.
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