Monday, April 21, 2014

My Joy for Teaching

"I teach high school."

"Oooo, I don't know how you do that or how you have the patience for that!" 

Anyone who teaches has likely had an interchange similar to this. However, there is usually an addition the person says to me which is, "Your just a little thing. Do the high school kids even listen to you?"

When conversations like this unfold I usually have two lines of thought:  1) I am so fortunate to have a job that I can honestly say I love and 2) I am happy this person found a job other than the teaching profession.

Here's my secret to teaching high school and loving my job...are you ready? Listen close...I'm going to whisper...

I am joy filled and grateful every day to teach our future.

Why whisper? Why not shout it from the mountain tops? Let me whisper it again in case you did not catch my words the first time:

I am joy filled and grateful every day to teach our future.

There are touch points throughout my day that speak to me.  These moments reaffirm my calling to teach.  I can stand in the middle of the room, look around and take in all 34 high school students working to achieve understanding and this fills me with joy.  When a student finally makes a break through after many struggles...this fills me with joy.  When a student challenges me and I choose to see a child in need versus a defiant child...this fills me with joy.  As students enter my room, say hello and ask how my weekend was...this fills me with joy.  As students leave my room, say good-bye and wish me a good day...this fills me with joy.  And I think...I am grateful for each of these moments.

My whispered echo is heard and felt by students every day.  I do not have to shout it.  I do not have to stand on a chair to be seen or heard.  I simply emanate my truth so that it is felt by each student.  I am neither more of a person than they are nor am I less of one; I am one with them in the process of learning and growing.