My wife is a teacher and has been for nearly thirty-three years and along with being a fantastic Wife, Mother and Grand Mother becoming a teacher was her childhood dream. Tonight the curtain on what has been a dream fulfilled begins to close and I’m sad to say I will miss the final performance of one her greatest loves.
Some people believe that teaching is an easy profession they blather on about only working ten months a year, having weekends and holidays off with your children and how it must be nice to have a job with so little stress. People who say things like this have never lived the life of a teacher. Especially a teacher, who has cared, loved and has given her heart and soul to those she has always referred to as “Her Children”.
As we all grow up and look back on our education nearly everyone I know can name the one or two teachers who had an impact on their lives. The teacher who was able to motivate you to work harder the one who was shoulder to cry on to help heal a hurting heart, someone who’s name alone makes you smile. Someone who showed up to cheer you on at a sporting event seven years after you left her classroom and someone you felt driven to reconnect with after finishing college or getting married. And you always knew where to find her.
I want you to know that same teacher had some secrets:
- She cared about every child who entered her room as if they were her own
- She fought for those who needed extra services
- She cried at night for those who were struggling to keep up
- She catered to the underdog and the overachiever
- And most important of all she worked endless hours learning how to make math, reading and science fun because she saw how kids who loved to learn continued to grow
At home she shared this passion for teaching nearly every night my children and I know hundreds of names but not nearly as many faces but you should know we see you coming. In the mall, at the grocery store, theater or local carnival we know when our teacher is about to be loved again, we see the look, the poke that mom or dad gets the smile and the open arms about to hug. Its ok, we know she’s special!
But what I love about her most, what most people will never know about a great teacher is great teachers are fighters. They fight for services, they fight for their children, they fight for the children’s parents when they don’t understand they should be fighting for their own child. But most important they fight for what they believe in and what they know. Like loving to learn and having the drive to achieve are far more important than a test score, that lunch at the movies isn’t and easy break but a way to engage children in topics like English, Geography, or History. And maybe most important of all, giving children a chance to perform isn’t just a play, it’s a spark that ignites the flame of creativity, a proud moment in time a chance to make children feel special!
Those who are truly gifted teach, the rest of us sit back and admire the gift!
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