Over 30 years ago, I told my mother when I finished 1st Grade that one day I was going to be a teacher. I think she doubted the certainty of my decision and laughed off the career announcement. Here I am, though, a happy and successful educator with 16 years under my belt. I may never achieve success outside of the classroom, as in becoming a best-selling author or a national speaker, and I'm OK with that. The real work happens in the classrooms, hallways, gyms, libraries, and offices inside school buildings anyway.
Some people say that Education is a business. Others say that Education is a public service. Some say that the job of a teacher is to teach the curriculum and maintain safety and security. Others say that the job of a teacher is to educate the whole child. After being a teacher for just 16 years, I must say that I agree with all of these views. As a teacher, I'm in the business of providing a public service to a community's children, and I am responsible for the education, safety, and security of those children.
The real work, though, is HARD, and by "real work" I mean the motivating, the inspiring, the guiding, the counseling, the listening, the advocating, the disciplining, the educating, and the future-preparing. The real work requires fiery passion. The real work requires relentless dedication. The real work requires rebellious change. The real work requires being willing to have your heart broken daily.
I didn't know what I was getting myself into all those years ago when I told my mom that I wanted to be a teacher. And teaching and learning has changed so much just in the time that I've been in a classroom. But I'm committed to continuing to do the real work, and I know that the real work is going to keep getting harder.
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