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The Power of A Teacher

How teachers can play a positive role in a child's life if they want to.

Have you ever thought about the power a teacher has to change a child's life? As parents, we typically have an idea of what a teacher should be like. Perhaps some of us care more about one aspect than another. Many of us want structure, some a sweetness, and others curriculum. Whatever our vision is, I would venture to say that we all want teachers that show our children respect and allow them to feel comfortable in class.

The profession of teaching has changed so much over the years. What teachers are expected to do has even changed. How parents view teachers has changed. As a teacher myself, who is now home with my kids, I remember the joy I felt when I taught. I loved the way the children came to school excited. I loved watching them learn something, and I remember the way they looked up to me. If I told a child to read a book I thought was great, many of them rushed to get it.

As a teacher, my thoughts and opinions mattered. If I thought the math lesson was fun, the kids tried it out. I thought of the inspiring power I had because I was a teacher. As we go through our lives, we get bogged down with every day living; our bills, personal life, family problems, and feeling angry at one thing or another can obviously affect how we feel day to day. Sometimes we bring those things to work, or home from work, and other people bear the brunt of our frustrations.

Think about children who go to school each day and for many of them this could be the best part of their day. They may have unhappy home lives, they may not have much food at home, but they know they will get a lunch today. Some kids can’t wait to see a certain teacher at school because they know they will get a smile or a warm welcome. Something they do not get at home.

As a teacher, I think we sometimes forget why we went into this profession. We all liked kids and the idea of teaching at some point in our careers. Perhaps life has been hard on us throughout the years and has changed us. For young children in school they should be able to come each day and feel liked by their teacher. Of course the reality of life is you won’t like everyone you work for, or everyone who teaches you, but I guess I feel like a teacher should have to work extra hard to be pleasant and respectful to each and every kid at school. Part of that is a teacher's job.

Teachers carry powers most of us will never have. The power to make a child try something he or she would never have tried before. Convincing children they can do something about they doubt they could. Changing the way a child feels about himself, good or bad or the ability to truly turn someone’s life around. I hear all the time how kids come home and tell their parents a teacher is mean or does not like them. Of course there will always be kids who feel this way regardless of what is going on in the classroom but, for most kids, they are telling the truth. A teacher is unfriendly, or sarcastic and grumpy much of the time.

Part of a teacher’s job is to excite, unite, encourage, and make children love learning. If you are a teacher who does this that thank you so much. If you are one who just goes through the motions, is maybe burnt out of your job, or just does not enjoy it anymore, then I ask you to think about why a child should have to receive the result of those feelings every day at school. If you are not happy as a teacher then I challenge you to smile at a student one day and ask her how she is doing. Compliment a child on something he wrote or a project he gave you. Tell a student that it is OK that the test they took did not go well and that next time he or she will do better because you believe in them!  You just might be the recipient of something only a child can give you and that is true appreciation and awe. Students aren’t thinking about all the things going on in your private life, they just see you right now as you are at school.

Students love teachers who make them feel cared about and who value them as people and see their wonderful qualities.  If you take this challenge you may just remember why you chose this profession. For every frustrating aspect about all of our jobs, the power of a teacher is to change a child and it is a gift you must embrace and protect.

Julie Farrell April 26, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Beautifully said, Pam! Bravo to all of the good teachers out there!

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