I've been back at work this week setting up my classroom for this year. I'll be teaching kindergarten, which is definately something new for me. Jacob is in his own "school" and isn't exactly loving it yet, but I'm told that he'll adjust and everything will be just fine...at least that's what I keep telling myself.
While sitting in a staff meeting on Thursday, my principal asked us all why we do what we do. He said most often we're asked what we do when we're out at parties, reunions, etc..., but no one thinks to ask why we do that job. He asked us to reflect on that as we prepare to begin this year.
So why do I teach? I'm happy to answer the question! In fact, I'm typing it out so that when those days where more than three kids poop their pants happen, I can look back and remember why I do what I do.
I teach because I love kids. Plain and simple. I love each and everyone of them. I teach because I want to change lives. I want each and every child to leave my classroom knowing that they are loved, valued and respected simply for being themselves. Every day. I want them to leave as better people through knowledge of the world around them and for knowing themselves better. I want them to know that their thoughts count and their opinions matter.
I teach for that moment when you realize that they really trust and value what you say. I teach for those 'aha' moments when you know they've got it. I teach because kids can't get enough love in their lives. They can't have enough people telling them that they are awesome. They can't have enough people showing them how to live well and love others.
I don't take this responsibility lightly. I don't do what I do for the summer vacation, for the pay or for anything else. I do what I do because it's who I am. As my son grows older, I hope that this teaches him that when we're caring for others, it's a big, important deal. I hope that by my words and actions, each student who walks through my door will learn that too.
God's blessings on my new kiddies this year!!!