Tuesday, 20 January 2015

What does it mean to be a Teacher?

I came across this quote last week:

Teaching is...
“inspiring students to discover on their own, to challenge if they don’t agree, to look for alternatives if they think there are better ones, to work through the great achievements of the past and try to master them on their own because they’re interested in them” (sorry cannot remember who said it).

I also received a personal message from a previous student's mother. In a nut shell she told me her son said that he missed me as a teacher. He said that he remembered my crazy antics and that he missed the learning and fun we had. She further stated that it made her realize the impact of a great teacher on a student.

These two statements got me thinking about teaching in general. More specifically, why I got into teaching and what teaching means.

It is very easy to forget how we can impact, for better or worse, a student in our class. We see them for the year but then off they go.  If we are lucky we see them in the halls or they talk to you as you go by but off they go into the yellow sunset to live their lives.   Every now and then we hear stories, read success stories or get a quick email that makes us think of the times we had in the classroom.

These moments in time make me think about why I became an educator. For me it wasn't a story of I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher from childhood. In fact I wanted to be a musician but my Dad told me that that was no way to live. I went to school to be an accountant but soon realized that I was doing this for all the wrong reasons. I volunteered at a local school and fell in love with teaching.

It was the light bulbs that did it for me. To see the mind work, explore, invent and be creative was truly inspiring. Not only that but to think that I had a small hand in that is really surreal.

Seeing this light bulb is one of the most important part of teaching for me. But how do we create that light bulb?
What got you into teaching?
What is teaching mean to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts.