Sunday, September 7, 2014

What I Love Most About Teaching (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 4)

The prompt for day four is to reflect upon what I love most about teaching.  Since I have spent a great deal of time reflecting upon this question, over the past three years in particular, I appreciate this opportunity.

While working at Browns River Middle School last year, I found a home.   The drive in each morning was beautiful; the building is flanked by Camel's Hump and an abundance of open space and lush woods.  The students and the faculty are warm and welcoming.  Each day spent there was different from the one that proceeded it, yet each one was filled with meaning.  The relationships that I forged with my students were incredibly strong, and I felt like a valued part of something bigger.

In a nutshell, the thing that I love most about teaching is feeling like I'm making a difference.  It means a lot when a student expresses excitement about some new way of thinking that they might not have previously experienced.  It means a great deal when a student who is having a bad day can be made to smile through the exchange of a few kind words of encouragement.

Teaching can be difficult, because human beings have complex needs and desires.  We all desperately want to connect with other people and to be seen for who we truly are.  The best teachers that I have ever had were very good at taking the time to get to know me as a person and making an effort to reach me on a personal level.  It was that gesture of kindness that allowed me to take risks and try harder than I otherwise might have.   As a teacher, I recognize that I also wield this incredible power to impact lives.  That is a huge responsibility, but it is also a gift.

Teaching becomes most meaningful through the creation of relationships with other people, and that is what I love most about teaching.

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