Some people say that teachers choose this profession simply because they want summers off. I must say, that is a great perk when you have children. However, what do I find myself doing this beautiful summer morning? Blogging about teaching. And what have I spent my "down" time doing this summer? Planning for the next school year. Oh sure, I've spent lots of time with my kids, cleaned my house, gone to the beach, read a few books for pleasure. I've gone shopping, but what did I buy last night? Sixty 1 subject notebooks on sale for .17 at Walmart!!! What do I always come back to? What is always in my heart? Teaching.
My brother recently came into town. We are very different. He was my first student, and truly, inspired me to become a teacher. Either that, or
he kindled in me something that was destined to be anyway. The very essence of who I am can be problematic, as I tend to try to teach everyone all the time, aka: I can be bossy. Luckily, he understands this about me and tries to be patient when I can't ignore my true self as I want to teach him through my experiences. Of course, I must brag on him for a moment, as all true teachers do of their students: he is currently in the last leg of a Ph.D. program in engineering, after working at BMW and Google just to name a few. I told you we were different, right?
I am a teacher. I was a teacher when I taught my little brother how to tie his shoes and write his name, when I put my hand in the air to tell a teacher what I thought the student next to me was confused about and when I help people in the bookstore find the right book for their child. Teaching is my heart. It is a sincere desire to help others that does not come from a want for glory (or money!), but from the simple pleasure received in seeing someone else achieve a goal.
I have been criticized for getting to close to my students and parents, for caring too much, for having too much passion. I have shed tears in front of my students, principal and colleagues. I have been to therapy in an effort to sand away some of my "heart". However, I have come to a conclusion. My heart is what I bring to teaching. I sincerely love my students. And they know it. It is that one thing that makes a huge difference regardless of whether I am teaching PreK ESE or 8th grade reading. I have taught with basals, without, with homework, without, with technology, without, and on and on for the last 12 years and the results are the same: my students strive for the expectations we set together because they know I love them and sincerely want the best for them. They know I give teaching my whole heart.
This blog was written as part of a series sponsored by Teaching Blog Addict, "The Heart of a Teacher".