Monday, May 2, 2016
The Important Thing About Being a Teacher #SOL16
The important thing about being a teacher is you are doing your part to create a better world. You are teaching students what they say and do matters, and you are showing them the power of literacy to unlock doors, to open possibilities. You are teaching them to think critically, to ask questions, to challenge what has always been in the hopes of what could be. You are the smile that greets them, the ears that listen to them, the eyes that really see who they are. You are the heart that cares for them. You are the library, full of books, magazines, poems and words that will nourish their minds, hearts, and spirits.
When you are a teacher, you can get lost in all the "to-do's" and can almost convince yourself that the curriculum is king and the pacing charts reign supreme. You find your true purpose, once again, by realizing that the student matters more than standards on a page; when recognizing that the conversation about a book is just as valid, and maybe more so, then a lexile level; by believing that a standardized test will never be the full story for a child as a learner or a teacher as an educator.
The teacher does not accept a world where leaders, and those wishing to be leaders, employ bullying tactics and speak in divisive, unkind ways. You choose kind and makes choosing kind an essential understanding above all else. You know that this time, with these kids, is precious, and this is your opportunity to plant seeds of optimism, resilience, perseverance, empathy, integrity.
They will grow up, they will have jobs. Some will be hairdressers, some will be doctors, some will be engineers, some will be cashiers, some will be moms and dads. More important than any specific facts you share or information you impart will be the memory of how you made them feel. If they remember to think before they speak, if they remember that everyone has value and is deserving of respect, if they make time to read for themselves and to their children, if they can write a beautiful letter to someone they love because you taught them their words have power...then, you have touched the future.
There are many things a teacher must do and be, but the important thing- the most important thing about being a teacher is you are doing your part to create a better world.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to the world-changers!
(Inspired, of course, by The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown)