Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Dangerous Road for Teachers

I know that I say things that reflect my flaws in my heart and motivation. It is part of being human, and often we say things in frustration as teachers. The issue I want to bring to light today, is one I believe to be the most destructive in the attitude of a teacher.
The conversation that brought this to light happened a few weeks back. Some teachers were talking about having a special guest come in to school. The guests were going to present to multiple classrooms, each at their own scheduled time. When a particular teacher was asked if they were having the presentation in their class, they responded with, "A course I am, then I don't have to teach my kids." That statement really shocked me.
Later that week I was talking with a plumber at the youth center I am working on. We were talking about enjoying our jobs. I was talking about how much I enjoyed teaching, and how I also enjoy doing construction work like plumbing. Dale, the plumber, when on to share a story about a work he had a year ago. The young guy was trying so hard to make a living out of being a plumber, but his heart was never in the work. Dale told me how one day he had to stop the young man, and tell him to find a new job. He told him that he needed to do something he enjoyed. It seems like an unlikely reason to relieve someone from their work, but just think for a moment how contagious that attitude can be. When we don't enjoy what we do, we create systems of actions that allow us to just do enough to get buy. We suffer by not getting joy from our products, and the customers or students we work with get a flawed imitation of the best.
This young teacher that made this statement about not wanting to teach is on a dangerous slop. Can you really put in 30 years at a job that doesn't drive you to always want to teach your students? Shouldn't we be looking for more opportunities to invest in our students. We are stewards of young minds, and we only get a modified year to pour into each classroom full. If you find this attitude creeping up in yourself, you may need to evaluate your motivations. If this attitude exists in those around you, stand up and be a beacon that leads others to cherish each teaching minute. You need to love what you do.