World Teachers’ Day is a great time to reflect on the power of teachers and how they influence our lives, the lives of our families and those in the community. My own reflections and thoughts have been expressed in several posts on the importance of this day:
In 2010, I shared some of our presentation from the school district’s Opening Day:
It is funny we often use different words for teacher. We have teacher leaders, lead teachers, principal teachers, support teachers, helping teachers, mentor teachers, and then we sometimes take the “teacher” word out, and have instructional leaders, among a range of other terms. I am good with teacher. It is who I am, and it says it all. The rest is about the different roles we have, but teacher describes who we are. I don’t think we actually need anything more. And while teachers sometimes get beaten up in the media, and our profession is asked to do more and more, it is still the greatest profession in the world – and there are few things better in life than being called a teacher. What we do makes a dent in our world; it matters, and makes it a slightly better place in which to live.
In 2011, I described the powerful difference that teachers made in my schooling in the K-12 system, in particular Mrs. Caffrey:
Mostly, I remember Mrs. Caffrey made me feel safe, and I was excited to come to school every day. To this day, 28 years later, I smile when I think about her . . . someone who quietly changed my life and, I am sure, the lives of many others.
Last year, I highlighted just a few of the amazing teachers I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with early on in my career — in particular, Bill Lawrence, Doug Sheppard, Gail Sumanik and Fred Harwood:
It was a bit of great luck I had in my first year to have mentors who took time to help me become successful, to be surrounded by excellent teachers sharing their craft in a culture that was accepting and encouraging.
What is fact about all of these teachers — teaching is more than a job for them, it’s a way of life, and this is true for all of the very best in the profession.
Of my own personal experience growing up in a family of teachers, I didn’t always understand why my parents were up late planning and marking to be ready for the next day in the classroom, or why we were going to musicals and basketball games at their schools. I did come to understand that they didn’t sign up for a job, they signed up for a way of life.
True, the teacher way of life does mean sometimes missing out on your own children’s’ activities in support of other students, and taking the high road when a suggestion is made about teaching being a 9-to-3 job. But then, the rewards realized from how we can make a difference in a kid’s life are pretty special.
As we celebrate World Teachers’ Day, I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues in this most amazing profession for taking on the teacher “way of life”.