Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Am A Teacher

John W. Schlatter wrote a profound piece of work about my profession.....and last night as I sat at my desk grading papers I began feeling like I did not make a difference with what I do. I felt like the kids could really care less if I were even there...I felt like it is such a sad thing....that we pay teachers....whom we entrust the minds of children with such a small price....and pay athletes who entertain us on the weekends so much I went to google and simply typed in I Am a Teacher.....and after I read John Schlatters work....I picked up my red pen....finished grading my papers.....and knew for one brief shining moment.....all was right in the world of teachers. I know you are not all teachers....but you may know one....or be married to one.....or have one you would have liked to let know how much they meant to I am going to share this with you...I hope you enjoy it.

I am a Teacher.
I was born the first moment that a question leaped from the mouth
of a child.
I have been many people in many places.
I am Socrates exciting the youth of Athens to discover new ideas
through the use of questions.
I am Anne Sullivan tapping out the secrets of the universe
into the outstretched hand of Helen Keller.
I am Aesop and Hans Christian Andersen revealing truth
through countless stories.
I am Marva Collins fighting for every child's right to an education.
The names of those who have practiced my profession ring like a hall
of fame for humanity...Booker T. Washington, Buddha, Confucius, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leo Buscaglia, Moses and Jesus.
I am also those whose names and faces have long been forgotten
but whose lessons and character will always be remembered in the accomplishments of their students.
I have wept for joy at the weddings of former students,
laughed with glee at the birth of their children
and stood with head bowed in grief and confusion
by graves dug too soon for bodies far too young.
Throughout the course of a day I have been called upon to be an
actor, friend, nurse and doctor, coach, finder of lost articles, money lender, taxi driver, psychologist, substitute parent, salesman, politician and a keeper of the faith.
Despite the maps, charts, formulas, verbs, stories and books, I have
really had nothing to teach, for my students really have only themselves to learn,
and I know it takes the whole world to tell you who you are.
I am a paradox. I speak loudest when I listen the most. My greatest
gifts are in what I am willing to appreciatively receive from my students.
Material wealth is not one of my goals, but I am a full-time treasure
seeker in my quest for new opportunities for my students to use their talents and in my constant search for those talents that sometimes lie buried in self-defeat.
I am the most fortunate of all who labor.
A doctor is allowed to usher life into the world in one magic moment.
I am allowed to see that life is reborn each day with new questions, ideas and friendships.
An architect knows that if he builds with care, his structure may stand
for centuries. A teacher knows that if he builds with love and truth, what he builds will last forever.
I am a warrior, daily doing battle against peer pressure, negativity,
fear, conformity, prejudice, ignorance and apathy: But I have great allies: Intelligence, Curiosity, Parental Support, Individuality, Creativity, Faith, Love and Laughter all rush to my banner with indomitable support.
And who do I have to thank for this wonderful life I am so fortunate
to experience, but you the public, the parents. For you have done me the great honor to entrust to me your greatest contribution to eternity, your children.
And so I have a past that is rich in memories. I have a present
that is challenging, adventurous and fun because I am allowed to spend my days with the future.

I AM a teacher...and I thank God for it every day.


Kelly said...

I Love this, very well written! I am not a teacher, but a mother of three and the questions are never-ending. As my children get older, the answers require a bit more thought, and sometimes, I simply don't have one. Beautiful post!

B said...

How can you not be making a difference? If you don't show up there could be a huge party, swinging from the chandelier style, but that doens't mean you wouldn't be missed, or that you aren't making a huge difference.

My entire 6 grade class was so quiet and well behaved one morning. Our teacher didn't show up for some reason. We didn't want a sub, so we did our own thing and no one noticed our teacher wasn't there until lunch. Oh what a great day that was.

That being said, two of the people who had the greatest impact on my life were my grandmother, and a teacher.

lagirl said...

I would like to send you my email account. How should I do that?

Kate said...

Hey Karen - Thanks for stopping by my little blog from SITS. It's so great to meet you. I so wish I could sing in a band, I'd be all about that. So you're a spanish teacher, is that right? Wow, I would think teaching another language would be a tough job. One of those great mysteries to me is why teachers get paid what they do and why football players get paid what they do. Doesn't make much sense.

Leigh said...

Great post. I highly admire teachers. They are underrated and underpaid. They are the foundation to a successful life.

Queenie Jeannie said...

What a great poem!!! THANK YOU for being a teacher!! I'm a mother, so I too am a teacher. Anyone who helps a child learn is so important.

So if you don't get the pay and recognition you so richly deserve (and chances are you don't), than accept my gratitude anyway!!