Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday ten: on teaching

While it is hard to believe, I am about to finish my fourth year of teaching. We have 23 more days, but who's counting? It feels strange to type that, and I have a hard time processing and thinking through all that I have learned as a teacher and a person in these last four years. So of course, with the  mindnumbingly boring and difficult  CRCT this week I've decided to think about the reasons why I love teaching- those things that keep me going on the hard days. In no particular order:

1. Kids are just plain funny.

I mean, they say some crazy things. Last year one of my students said to me, "Hey Ms. Miller, do you know how vegetarians take a dog's temperature? They stick it up their butt!" I think she was a little confused. But I got quite a laugh out of it.

2. Kids are sweet.

Honestly, kids can be downright adorable. They are thoughtful and more perceptive than we realize. And when given the chance, they can be much kinder than we adults are to one another.

3. I love people.

If I had to work at a desk with a computer/numbers/paperwork all day, I would roll into a little ball and die. Read: dramatic extrovert speaking.

4. Jesus valued children.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." -Matthew 19:14

5. Education opens doors.

It is a well-known fact that a solid education is the foundation for a life that is set up for success. Without education it is difficult to advance in today's world.

6. Kids need stability.

With all of the awful injustices kids today face when it comes to family dynamics, school can often be the only stable place a child knows. Some of my students see more of me than they do of their own families. While it is a big responsibility, I am grateful to make school a place where they feel safe and loved.

Kids at the brickyard in Chihuahua. Be still my heart.

7. The summers off are not too shabby.

Obviously, this needs no explanation. Having the summers off gives me the freedom to travel, rest, volunteer, and to be with friends and family.

8. Kids have something to teach us, too.

I am about three times the age of my students, so I've lived a lot more life than them-seen various situations and walked through things they have yet to face. But the truth is that they, too, have walked through situations I will never understand or be able to, and I can learn from their resilience.

9. Did I mention that they're fun?

I love building relationships with kids and watching them grow. One of my favorite parts of teaching is when kids come to visit me or when old students from years past email me or write me on Facebook. I love hearing about their lives now and how they have grown.

Fifth and sixth grade class from Colegia Binimea, Chihuahua, MX; 2012.

10. Teaching makes an impact on the future.

By far, the most important (and my favorite) reason behind why I teach is that what I do-the things I teach that are officially or unofficially tied to the standards/curriculum-are things that will mold and shape the future. It sounds idealistic and far-fetched, but teaching is tied to the future-on this earth and in eternity. I was privileged to have some amazing teachers. The ones I remember most were believers who shone with the light of Jesus. That's what I want to be for my kids-someone who loves them fiercely, and who they can think about later and realize that the love they felt from me was supernatural and from a worthy and holy God.

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