What Does A Great Teacher Do?
A teacher builds bridges between dreams and accomplishments.
But Never Say the Following Words
There’s a three word phrase that seems harmless but is, in fact, poison to our profession and is also detrimental to our students’ ears. Too often we use the phrase, “I’m just a teacher.” No celebrity thinks of themselves as ‘just a star.’ No professional athlete puts the word ‘just’ in front of their athleticism. And yet day in and day out we directly touch and mold more young lives than celebrities or athletes. When our students struggle we are there to help. When they face what they feel are insurmountable problems, we listen. We care and we counsel. What is more important: shaping lives or creating a game score? What is more important, encouraging a young human through a personal challenge or the gross profits of a movie?
I must admit there is another profession equally as guilty of underestimating their value and importance. That is the nursing profession. Nurses are the front lines as are we teachers. Teachers and nurses are the privates who do the work. Having a daughter who battled a terminal illness I can tell you that every time her treatment improved and became more humane, it came in the form of a suggestion from a nurse. Why? Like teachers they were there on the front lines. They cared, they listened and they sought solutions.
We need to bite our tongues every time we hear ourselves say, “I’m just a teacher.” We need to object when others use those words either orally or through their actions. We are not just anything. The only thing ‘just’ about us is the fairness we demonstrate when we value and advocate for all our students. We just refuse to give up when we notice a child struggling with learning problems, social rejection, or family issues
Our current students are the future of our country. Statistics confirm that more of them will model their lives around the works and words of a positive teacher than any political figure, celebrity or sports figure. We should be just plain tired of being thought of as just a teacher. We’d tackle anyone who called one of our students ‘just’ a kid. The parents of my students trust me with their most valuable possession. Their child matters more to them than their house, their automobile, their investment portfolio or their job. I’m pleased to say that I doubt any of the parents of my former students will ever speak of me as just as teacher.
Nor Will I
My name is Dauna Easley. I am proud to be a teacher.
TEACH…To Change Lives
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