Think of a teacher who influenced you when you were in school… What did he or she do to make a difference in your day?

The teachers that come to mind for me are ones who made connections to my life and who were passionate about what they were teaching. They obviously loved their jobs.

Twenty-five, thirty years after the fact, I remember the feelings I had sitting in the classrooms of my favourite teachers. I don’t remember the specifics of what they taught me, but I do remember feeling appreciated and inspired. I remember knowing that I could take risks without fear of embarrassment. I remember looking forward to each day to see what my teachers had planned. I remember experiencing the joy of learning.

Unfortunately, I also remember the feelings I had sitting in the classrooms of teachers whom I remember for very different reasons: feelings of boredom, confusion and frustration. Teachers who did not seem to enjoy their jobs. Teachers tainted by negativity. Teachers who seemed bored themselves.

How do your students see you? Do you make the effort to connect with them each day? Do you love what you do? Is there joy in your classroom and in our school?

“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau

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