I try to be honest in everything I do. I speak honestly. I work honestly. I live honestly.
I’m not perfect, but I’m honest about that too. And I teach my students honesty, through example, as well as discussion.
I champion good treatment of everyone. I make it a point to teach my students that being good to each other and ourselves is of extreme importance.
I champion integrity in my classes.
I champion being good to each other through word and deed. My first class rule that students repeat almost every day is, “Our class is a safe place”. And I teach them that safe means Every form of safe, not just from hitting or blatant bullying; but from the words we use and the way we say them, and from the snickering bystanders too. Our class is safe from gossip, and talking about others when they’re not around, or in a language they don’t understand.
And I teach them that anytime we are at school, they are part of my class.
It’s that important to me.
We as teachers are helping raise the next generation. They spend the majority of their waking hours in our classes. We are responsible to teach them how to be good people along with good spellers and mathematicians.
I take that responsibility seriously.
And I’m not the only one. Most teachers I know feel the same way. When we discuss what’s right or wrong in our individual schools and school systems, it is always with the intent of finding and doing what is best to help these children be their best.
I love communicating with all my teacher friends across the globe as we compare and contrast the ways, but never the goal. The goal, help raise great humans, is always understood.
I wouldn’t say it’s a thankless job. I love getting my thank you’s from students and parents and the leaders at school.
I teach for these little notes, the high fives, and the thank you’s from students; not for my paycheck.
Hearing, “come in, teach the book, go home, get paid” does not even compute in my book. I’ve heard it from 5 or 6 teachers as I’ve traveled the world. If your goal is just to get paid, or not to put effort into understanding that parents are trusting you to be part of the village that raises their child, in belief that you are giving them all the tools to be good humans, if your goal is to go in, have students read from the book, and go home and forget these children exist until you have to be in class, please don’t be a teacher.
Teaching is more than 123 and ABC. It is understanding we are more than babysitters, we are more than dispellers of information collected in a book.
We are working to shape how these next generations: interact with each other, create the habits that will help them thrive as adults, believe in themselves, feel about their ability to learn, interact with difference, with the world, and feel safe.
Children need to feel safe enough to learn. That is created through building a safe community amongst everyone at the school.
Honesty, integrity, safety, acceptance, balance, good will, and courage to explore new things, that is part of the 123ABC package.
We teach them so much more than just 123.
Teachers, yes you, go be awesome!