The beginning of the school year brings a rollercoaster of emotions for teachers. There is excitement about what the new year will bring, stress over the new expectations, worry that you won’t impact enough of your students within the time frame, and joy for the relationships that are built inside the classroom. There is a reason we go through this every year, there is a reason we put ourselves through the stress, the worry and the excitement, there is a reason this is not just a job but a calling.
I have found 10 quotes that explain teachers in a way that no teacher could articulate.
#1 “You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Teachers have an innate ability to reflect and to continuously improve. This growth mindset allows us to motivate our students in daily improvements, encouraging them to never give up, and to believe in the power of trying.
Unfortunately, teachers are also known for their ability to multitask; control behaviors, teach high level thinking and engaging all students in the lesson at the same time. This leads to forgetting where you place things; coffee mugs, papers, and even the post it that was supposed to remind you where you placed your graded papers.
#2 ” We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.” The Children of Men– P.D. James
This became my goal two years ago. Before this mindfulness type of thinking, I was always worried about tomorrow, the next lesson, the to do list. I made this goal with my students, and it changed the outcome of my day to day life. Teaching in the moment, being in the moment allowed me to really teach and be aware of the struggles and accomplishments made in the classroom. It also led to some wonderful discoveries with my students and even myself.
#3 “We need never be ashamed of our tears.”- Great Expectations By Charles Dickens
In our tears we find clarity in how students are feeling. In our tears we discover how passionate we are about the path we chose and the students we inspire.
#4. “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Every year that I have taught there has been a change; a grade level change, an expectation change, or even a testing change. Some teachers have experienced change in such a cynical way, but it is in the change that we discover our true ability and worth.
#5 “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.”- The Witches by Roald Dahl
Teachers believe this with their whole hearts. Character is truly what matters. Teachers don’t just teach the state expectations, we are teaching the whole child because we believe it matters.
#6 “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” – Breakfast at Tiffany’s- Truman Capote
This is our mission- to give students the confidence to grow, to try, and to conquer the world.
#7 ” I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” – Moby Dick by Herman Melville
We never know what is coming on a day to day basis, or what the students are going to ‘bring’ from home. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
#8 “When today fails to offer the justification for hope, tomorrow becomes the only grail worth pursuing.”- Death of a Salesman- Arthur Miller
If the lesson doesn’t work today, tomorrow is another day. Teachers continuously want to improve, and when a lesson doesn’t work, if a day does not go as planned- yell ‘Plot change’ and make some changes.
#9 ” Kid, you’ll move mountains!” Dr. Seuss Oh The Places You Will Go
This children’s author knew how to push each and every one of us to new heights and new adventures. Some times it feels like mountains- giant mountains but it is within this attitude that allows us to believe that we actually can.
#10 When you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.” – Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is what we do every day. Every one of our students are roses, but it is the effort and the relationships that we build with our students that make the difference. This is why we became teachers. We knew that we had a calling in making a difference in these kids and it is in that effort and time building relationships that we take away the ‘thistles’ and groom them to becoming wonderful human beings.
There are many reasons teachers follow this path. I became a teacher because of a bad experience in school, I have a lot of friends that knew it was their calling from a very young age, and some became teachers became teachers because of great influences in their lives. It doesn’t matter why we became teachers, what matters is what we do with it while we are in it. I am proud be a teacher. I am proud of the successes that my students’ have had, and I am proud of the difference that we make every day.