Monday, August 8, 2011

Why I teach

First of all,  a shout out to Matt Damon - I like them apples.  It felt good to have a celeb defend us.
I think now that it's back to school time, we should respond to some of the criticism of the SOS march. Many wrote "Why I'm marching." Let's now write "Why I teach." Hopefully one of you more technically savvy people can create a special webpage for this and make it a big deal.

Why I teach:
    I teach because I was called to it. I teach because the most important thing to me in my life  is to  be kind and generous and good to others, and this is the best way I know how.
    I teach because I find at least one quality to love in each one of my students - and sometimes I really have to search- but I ALWAYS find something - and that makes me feel good about myself. I teach because once a student knows about that quality makes me love them,  it changes who they are, and how they think about themselves.
     I teach because kids are funny, smart, mad, sad, violent, incontinent (that happens in special ed sometimes) weird, sometimes violent, sometimes very troubled - but they are all fascinating and wonderful in some aspect...even though there are days, maybe even weeks, that I forget that.
        I teach because the education of every child (or adult for that matter) is like the beginning of a  puzzle for me to put together - I do the end pieces, the borders, and I marvel in watching them fill it in for themselves. I never know what the picture inside the borders will look like, and am usually thrilled when I see it.
    I teach because of the many colleagues I have that feel the same way, and if I'm having trouble with the puzzle, they will help me. 
   I teach because teaching is a craft: parts knowledge, technique, part magic and illumination - but the mix a teacher uses for each child, for each period of the day - is all based in the gut. 
   I teach because the craft allows me to try new and different things from year to year, I don't stagnate. (Theoretically, that is)
     I teach because of the child whose dream was to go to "Montealbec, Candada" and eat creme brulee got to eat creme brulee in my classroom at least - the ability to make a part of a dream come true is marvelous.
      I teach because that child now knows its "Montreal, Quebec, Canada."