Sunday, September 22, 2019

Kim Frencken: Teachers who are truly teachers love what they do

After all the jokes about full moons and sleeping in and cranky parents, teachers will admit that they love kids.

There are so many reasons that teachers keep being teachers, but sometimes we forget. For just a moment. Until that kid comes up and thanks you for letting them be a kid today. Or the little person who can't tie their shoes, so they help by rubbing your head while you are tying them.

The numerous high fives and fist bumps gently remind us why we do what we do. Day in and day out. On days when we're too tired to think. On days when our head is throbbing. Or days when we want to cry our eyes out.

It never fails that on those days, something miraculous happens and God reminds me why He made me a teacher. 

For a few years, I lived in a small city and worked as a merchandiser and I forgot the joy of learning. Until Mom reminded me. She reminded me that, as a child, I had taught all of my dolls and pets. Everyday after school. 

She reminded me how I had rummaged through the school trash and brought home all the teacher stuff my teachers had discarded. I set up school on our back patio or in my room on inclement days. My parents encouraged me by buying a chalk board and books. And they gave me time to pretend and imagine. What a gift!

Teaching is a gift. It can't be learned. It can't be bought. A teacher is not something. A teacher is someone. Teaching is buried deep in our hearts. It makes them beat. 

I may get frustrated with school politics. I may be sick and tired of meetings. I may run out of polite, professional things to say to that annoying parent. But I never get tired of being with children. They keep me young. They make me laugh.

So... all jokes aside. Teachers who are truly teachers love what they do. They love kids. They can't think of anything else they'd rather be.
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)

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