My teaching dream began when I was a little girl. I would make worksheets for my sister and friends, have them complete them, and then correct them. I dreamed about wearing high heeled shoes and hearing them click all the way down the school hallway. I couldn’t wait to get Mr. Sketch markers to use on large chart papers and put smelly stickers on my students’ tests. As you can probably tell, I had some very fabulous teachers growing up – and these teachers helped to shape my vision of what I wanted to become as an adult.
You see, my former teachers made it look so easy – so much so that I couldn’t wait to grow up and start my career as a teacher. All along the way, I did whatever I could do to make that happen. I did well in school, I did volunteer work with young children, I became a figure skating coach, I was a summer camp counsellor… nothing was going to stand in my way of becoming a teacher.
Upon graduating from university, I took a drastic decision and moved to an isolated community in the Canadian Arctic in order to grab my chance to become a classroom teacher. It was a gamble that paid off in spades. I loved my experience but it was within the first three months of my new job/role and I realized this newfound career of mine was more than just a 9 to 5 job. I realized that my new career would consume my life… in more positive ways than I could have ever imagined.
As I am mid-way through my 15th year of teaching, here are a few nuggets of information I have collected along the way.
* To be a teacher means that you work your butt off ALL THE TIME.
* To be a teacher means that you will work before school, after school, in the evenings, on the weekends, on holidays, …
* To be a teacher means you spend a lot of your income on materials for your students and your classroom.
* To be a teacher means that your complete summer off is really not a complete summer off. Teachers are constantly working, creating, planning, and thinking about how to make the next school year better than the one before.
* To be a teacher means that you care about the children that come into your classroom. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly.
* To be a teacher means that you will question every move you make and thing you say. You will question yourself and wonder what you could have done to make that lesson better or that conversation run smoother.
* To be a teacher means that you will feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but it doesn’t seem to matter once you see THAT STUDENT smile when he/she sees you.
* To be a teacher means that you will want to take some of your students into your home and raise them as your own when you become aware of what their home life is really like.
* To be a teacher means that you will sometimes have to teach parents how to parent their own children.
* To be a teacher means that your heart and soul will love the children who enter your classroom and you will continue to love them years after they have left you.
* To be a teacher means that you when you see your former students as adults, you will smile and feel bursts of pride when you see how well they have turned out… and inwardly high five yourself for playing a small part in their success.
It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. If you have chosen this profession and have stuck with it as long as I have, then congratulations are in order. You have found your calling! You have been putting in the long hours and have invested your life into helping the future of our world. And whether you believe it or not, you are making a difference!
Please add your own pieces of wisdom in the comments below!
Have a great day!