A few weeks ago I heard someone say, “we can’t not be a model” when speaking of the teaching profession. Whether we realize it or not, whether we want to be or not, we are full-time models for students. Our words, our body language, our social media profile, our actions and even our inactions have many eyes.
Typically, we are deliberate in our words and actions when we stand in front of our classes. And yet sometimes, we are caught in moments of fatigue or frustration, or we might become more casual or inadvertent as we speak to our colleagues in the hallway. It doesn’t hurt to remember that many eyes are watching.
The joy of this profession is the tremendous influence we have on our students. And perhaps this is the burden, too. Kids and parents hold us to high standards. As they should.
“Children are great imitators so give them something great to imitate.” Anonymous
The theatres are replaying some of the classics. Today I watched one of my all-time favourites: Field of Dreams. And although I can recite almost every line, I didn’t: I restrained myself for the sake of the others in the theatre.
But today, there was one line in particular that struck me: “You know we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, well, there’ll be other days. I didn’t realize that that was the only day.” Moonlight Graham
What are you waiting for? Today is precious and significant. Find your reasons. Enjoy the moment. Be present.
What better gift can we give our students?
If I was graduating high school and deciding on a profession again, I would choose education.
When the kids coming running down the sidewalk for a hug, when I have the opportunity to read my favourite books aloud, when I can share my passion on writing with the students, when I can adhere a bandaid or provide support to a student in trauma, I know education is the place for me.
It is a privilege to be an educator. School is about much more than knowledge. School is life changing. In the words of Confucius: “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”
There’s no better choice for me.
“Yes, the students do begin before the long weekend.”
“No, they are not wasted days. In fact, they’re quite productive from a teacher’s perspective: organizing school supplies, setting routines, building relationships. By the time students are back on Tuesday we’re ready to delve in.”
“Look how tall you are: I think you grew a foot over the summer!”
And, at 2:00 pm Friday inside a grade one classroom, a student takes my hand and leads me out of his classroom… “Ms. Filewych, can I ask you something?” “Sure Kyle, what’s up?” “Can I go home yet?” “Not yet buddy. Soon…”
I’m sure everyone slept well Friday night: kids AND teachers. I know I did!