Sunday, May 4, 2014

Teaching is...

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, The Center for Teaching Quality — a group that has been working to raise teacher voice and to redefine the teaching profession  for the past 20 years — is encouraging teachers to spend the week sharing reflections about just what teaching is all about using the hashtag #TeachingIs.

Teaching is what I do.  It is complex, yet so simple at the same time.  There are many components that makeup the art of teaching, but when you boil it down to its simplest level, it is about doing what is best for students.  Period.  Every decision I make as an educator is viewed through this lens.

Teaching is hard.  There are many variables that present new challenges, that try to steer you away from your primary focus on your students.  It is difficult to stay the course and not be swayed by those variables.  

Teaching is inspiring.  It is inspiring when the light bulb goes off for my students.  That light bulb validates everything I do, and encourages me to press on in the toughest moments.

Teaching is reflecting.  In order to be able to do what is best for my students, I need to reflect on what I am doing to ascertain the impact it is having on my students.  It is equally important that my students see me reflect, for it is a learned skill that will take them far in life.

Teaching is painful.  It is painful when you have a student doing everything to succeed and they still don't.  It is heart wrenching when your students are not successful.  But you can't give up, you must reflect, reassess, and reteach until they are successful!

Teaching is fun.  It provides countless opportunities to laugh at myself on a daily basis.  It allows me the opportunity to inject humor into the lives of my students, especially for those that may not experience at any other point of the day..

Teaching is the greatest job in the world.  The highs are higher than any other, and the lows can be lower than any other.  But, in the end, it is all worth it because you are able to learn from the greatest teachers... the kids!

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