A Guiding Light
Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.
Tomorrow I begin my 29th year of teaching. When I started my career I entered my first school year with great anticipation and excitement about the opportunities that lie ahead. In the years that followed I have met each school year with equal anticipation. One of the many things that inspires me about the teaching profession is the enthusiasm and passion that quality teachers have about their career choice. At the start of each year you can feel the excitement as welcome back meetings are conducted and students enter the classrooms. As I prepare myself to enter this school year, I have spent some time reflecting on how I continue to motivate myself to enter my classroom ready to inspire a new group of students. I ask myself how can I be a guiding light in my students lives? Here are my thoughts:
Last week I attended two days of teacher training. As I walked into the building, I greeted several teachers who reminded me how long I have been in the business of teaching and coaching. These teachers had passed through my classroom as students. I had several conversations with young people I have taught in the past who have entered the teaching profession. As I reflected on this, it occurred to me why I teach. The "why" for me is to inspire! To inspire young people to set goals and work for them. To dream big and believe they can achieve those dreams. To recognize that they have gifts and talents that are valuable to our world. To recognize that all pursuits are worthy and meaningful. To believe in themselves.
When I think about the potential impact that we as teachers have on our students I think about the "light" that has been returned to me from former student/athletes and how those connections continue to inspire me. I think of the former student/athlete that has shared her marketing and branding expertise with me inspiring me to pursue my photography and blogging aspirations. I think of the student/athlete that serves me communion at church. I think of the student who nursed me back to health after my last surgery (and she also brought me as much ice cream as I wanted!). I think of the student who keeps my lawn looking great and makes sure my home is pest free. I am continually reminded as I am out and about in our community of the ripple effect that teachers have. When we shine a light our students will find their way.
So, to my fellow teachers who are returning to their classrooms I encourage you to examine your "why". Why is it you chose this profession? When I look back on my career I realize that I have been blessed to have a career that has utilized my gift of inspiring others. I really do believe that teaching is what I was put on this earth to do. My "aha moment" is that I draw my excitement and enthusiasm for teaching by inspiring others, by shining my light. Why do you teach?
You are the Light of the World ~ Matthew 5:14