Teacherhood of a dirty chalkboard

For day 24 of #Janblogaday‘s “teachers” topic, I’ve asked a few school teachers I know for a few words on “a teacher is…” Although its no extraordinary discovery, I found that these teachers (in different schools, teaching different age groups, across states and transcending their number of years of experience) share something quite special: a teacherhood — a shared passion and commitment to their profession, a very special care and love for their students, and a common sense of contentment and joy in a dirty chalkboard. It is comforting to know that if any group of individuals is to play such critical role in the lives of children, it is them. 

Thank you to all teachers — for the role models you are in our lives as children, and the continued impact you have in our lives as adults. 

Teacherhood of the dirty chalkboard | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes you, and leads you to the next plateau… -Dan Rather, American journalist

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A teacher is… a partner to the people in a child’s life who impact them the most: their parents. The most crucial things a child will learn — integrity and excellence — will be taught by their family; teachers are a partner to support these lessons. It is our job to see how our structures can support the development of these important values.

A teacher is… only as effective as the system they are a part of. It is too often overlooked that teachers are not choosers of all the policies  enforced in their classrooms. This is where the partnership between parents and teachers can truly work to better the child.

A teacher is… often emotionally worn. They make it their business to care, and this can be exhausting. But they thrive on the smallest encouragement, too. Encourage your teachers, invest in the “bad” ones. Broadway shows don’t get better when you throw rotten apples at them.

A teacher is… exited about kids. Student failures may be at the forefront of every teacher’s attention, but their successes are what keeps teachers pushing forward.

A teacher is…. within each of us. You may not have a classroom of students—but you will have students in your life. Think of how you can impact those around you.

Mrs. D. Carson, 9th grade teacher, Puyallup, Washington

A teacher is…. many things to many people. A parent may say a teacher is someone who spends more time with his or her child than anyone else. A school administrator may say a teacher is a role that helps every student master his or her grade level curriculum and state standards. A spouse of a teacher may say a teacher is a dedicated workaholic who is willing to sacrifice time, finances and sleep for their students. A student may say a teacher is a parent-like role model, a friend, a counselor, a nurse and a hero.
And then you have the teacher’s perspective: A teacher may see themself as being a bridge between generations so that one day the next generation of leaders will be ready to pick up where the last left off. That same teacher a day later — after breaking up a hallway fight, being lectured about student test scores, and dealing with the outbreak of head lice in the classroom — may see their job as the most demanding, underpaid, and underappreciated role there is.

But if you take out all opinions, politics, student drama, administrative protocols, and state standards from the equation you will find that a teacher is someone who is willing to pour all their passion, life experiences, successes, failures, education and energy into their work each and every day. When the classroom lights shut off and students have moved on to the next year, a teacher’s greatest fulfilment is knowing their students are heading on in an enduring path to broadened opportunities in life.

-Ms. H. Soto,  5th grade teacher,  Las Vegas, Nevada

I feel that teacher is a leader. They provide students with tools for a lifetime. We motivate, inspire, and show through our example the traits of a leader.

-Mrs. D. Hopkins, Jr. High teacher, Puyallup, Washington

As a teacher I am realizing more and more that my job is not only to educate. Some days I wish it was, but that’s not the case. I realize that a teacher is an educator and a learner, a speaker and a listener, a coach and a cheerleader; someone who tries to inspire, and often times is inspired themself; an advocate for each and every child who at the end of the day when they leave the class, as much as I’d like to leave my job behind and just focus on my family, can’t completely. I can’t help but think about the day. The conversations I had. The laughs, the difficult times. I think about the kids who I know don’t have just the stress of homework to go home to. And that causes me to pray. As a teacher, I have to pray because, as much as I’d like to just come to work to teach, that’s not my only job. Because of that, I have to pray.

 -Mrs. S. Benedict, elementary school teacher, Puyallup, Washington

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January blog a day | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

More from #Janblogaday: Day 1: New… year, new resolution. Day 2: Two… things you should never say to your partner. Day 3: Bucket list… of (some un)realistic wishes. Day 4: Pet peeve… fountains are not the new jungle gym. Day 5: Fear not, even if I am a little crazy. Day 6: Embarrassment: Lindsey – 1, Dad – 4. Day 7: The shoe horoscope. Day 8: A little honesty. Day 9: Made with love: Wintery Instagram jam. Day 10: Grandma took my room, so I took her pajamas. Day 11: A husband confession. Day 12: Haiti changed me. Day 13: Top ten ‘why not’ finds at Walmart. Day 14: Guess that food. Day 15: A hug-free, dent-free left-hand side of the road. Day 16: I’m getting my own tube. Day 17: This is your brain on bacon. Day 18: Dear newly-wed. Day 19: Superpowerful and hungry. Day 20: Beauty to me. Day 21: Happy. Day 22: Lock me up in a kids world. Day 23: Social media in desserts. Tomorrow day 25: el. oh. vee. ee.

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