Being a teacher is a true calling. Like any other profession, there are those who would say teachers don't get paid nearly enough for what they do. Well, I believe without a doubt teachers don't teach for the money. Teachers teach because they love what they do and cherish preparing their students' minds for the future.
Teaching children is a calling that requires lots of love, heartache, patience and understanding. Teachers become very close to and attached to the children they teach. They know when the children are happy, and they know when the children are sad. They also carry the burden and heartache of the children who are hurting. These are the children who may not have slept the night before because of domestic situations in the home, the children who didn't have breakfast before coming to school because of monetary reasons or the children who don't live in a household filled with love and happiness.
For the most part, children appear the same on the outside. They appear to be happy, healthy children, when in reality many are hurting on the inside and just begging for help. Unfortunately, many children aren't sure whom to turn to for help. Luckily, we have great teachers who take on the huge responsibility of guiding not only happy children but those suffering as well. Teachers get to know their children well beyond names, addresses and telephone numbers. They get to know every little thing about the children they teach.
When I was attending college to become a teacher, I knew I needed to fill my toolbox with many life skills and abilities. I wondered what tools would be most needed. Would it be grammar, reading, writing or arithmetic, I wondered. As I honed those skills and improved others over the years, I came to learn that all along I had been carrying the skills I would need most all along.
You see, I came to realize that there were only 18 inches between the two most important tools I would ever need in not only my teaching career but life as well. I came to learn that I had been born with the heart of a teacher and the mind to learn the things I would need to teach my students.
I have carried that passion my entire teaching career and take great pride in being recognized as "Teacher of the Year" by my peers. I take greater pride in the minds and lives of the many children I have taught, loved and, most importantly, listened to over my career.
In closing, as I grow older there are many things that may be taken from me. Time may take my sight, hearing and even my ability to walk, but time will never take my cherished memories and love for education because I indeed have the heart of a teacher.