This National Teacher's Day pause and consider the point-of-view of being a teacher and the deep truths you know that others outside the profession don’t
In honor of National Teacher’s Day, let’s take a moment to pause and consider the little things that keep us going. Those moments touch our hearts and souls with a love for the profession and fuel us through the negativity that this world sometimes brings. Take a trip down memory lane and connect your core teaching memories with the reminders found here to appreciate the inspiration and foundational truths you’ve brought to this profession.
#1 - Teaching follows you wherever you go.
We all know that shutting down our minds and hearts at the end of the school day doesn’t happen. Our sense of responsibility for each student’s future drives us forward and sometimes keeps us awake at night.
We’ve all run into students at the grocery store and seen the shocked expressions on their faces when they realize that teachers don’t live at the school.
We’ve all felt the joy of seeing their faces light up when we show up to support them at an event.
No other profession creates deep relationships that blossom over time where you educate and inspire and serve as a foundational role model for the most impressionable parts of their lives.
#2 - The little moments sometimes make the largest impact.
Positive words influence hearts the most, even when they seem resistant. Educators excel at finding the best in students, pointing out what they’ve done well or where they’ve improved, and praising them for their achievements.
Sending quick notes home to parents of students who usually don’t get praise from school, highlighting that one success can change an entire relationship with a student…and the parent!
Solving small problems with our incredible edu-senses supports student growth. We can tell when they cannot afford school supplies. We can tell when they show up without breakfast. We can tell when they’ve been triggered by some unkind comment or gesture. And we can tell the small things that make a big impact on their daily attitudes.
#3 - The “teacher” resume includes many positions.
If teachers had to write down every job hat they wear throughout their day, their resume would be thick…and shocking.
We’re researchers and collaborators, content creators and differentiators, interior and graphic designers, artists, and architects.
We’re accountants, fundraisers, classroom financial planners, lawyers in the principal’s office, and judges on the playground.
We’re emotional counselors and behavioral mentors, wardrobe-malfunction repairers, and wet shoelace tiers.
We’re project managers, classroom CEOs, coaches, sponsors, advocates, advisors, and supporters.
We’re copy-machine repair experts, technology wizards, and school-supply extenders.
We’re creative problem-solvers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and community outreachers.
We’re so much more than September-through-May, 8-to-3, and don’t get a June-July-August vacation - it’s just time without students assuming we’re not coaching or teaching summer school…or working another job.
We’re so much more than “just” a teacher.
#4 - You may be the only constant structure in your students’ day.
When students cross the threshold into a school building, they generally step into structure, predictability, and the familiar.
They know when they will eat, when they will learn, and when they will have a moment to break and recharge.
They know who they can count on, where they’ll find those people, and where to find what they need.
They know the hierarchy of administration, the rules to follow, and the expectations in each classroom.
Teachers provide security, stability, and safety in their daily lives. And when threats arise, it’s the teachers who step out in front to protect their students.
More often than not, we’re a guiding light in their day-to-day.
#5 - Necessity drives reinvention of your day-to-day.
Educators reinvent themselves on the daily, pivoting from one idea to the next in order to reach the most students but also to reach that one student.
We adapt to the times, work with technology, stay up-to-date on the trends of the times, and learn new theories and research.
We monitor the undercurrent of the classroom and hallways, listening to and filtering the chatter-in-passing.
We read the moods and adjust the ‘tudes.
We work with what enters our room and try to send the students back out better than when they entered.
Here’s to the teachers in all schools, in all capacities, and in all the love and guidance that they offer. Never forget the nuance that wholly encompasses the single-word job title that so often gets ignored.
Teachers are daily superheroes.