Blogger’s Note: I’ve seen other educators tweet, post, and blog about #WhyITeach, but the first one I saw do this was Bill Ferriter. I’m copying the idea. Here’s why:
Education is a sacred profession. Serving others as an educator is truly special, like no other journey. You don’t have to teach, you want to teach. After about three years, there’s just no faking it. There’s part of you that either loves it or leaves it. You can’t be a kinda educator. No family members want their relation in a classroom with a kinda educator.
Especially with teachers–a passionate people nearly by definition–there’s a lot out there. Meandering cautiously through all the inspirational quotes, self-promoters, technology flashers, and critical thinkers–there’s me. And it’s from this place where I’m taking a much-needed break to reflect on #WhyITeach.
Over the summer of 2018, I had the honor of experiencing some edtech professional learning sessions offered by my district. After the morning sessions, a friend and I enjoyed lunch at a local barbecue restaurant… And behold!
Our server was one of my former students.
Immediately, she introduced herself and asked if I remembered her.
Really? Of course I did! What I remember was…
I remember how she was new to our school, new to fifth grade, and potentially worried about making friends and what her teachers would be like.
I remember how she definitely had some likes and dislikes, and, at the time, math was definitely one of her dislikes. In fact, she dreaded it.
I remember how her mother was extremely supportive, and how important it would be for the three of us to work together to ensure that her fifth grade math and science experience would be the best we could possibly make it. Together.
I remember how we may have had a few ups and downs, as every school year features.
What I remember most was that behind all of her passion and excitement for fifth grade life was an undeniable heart and drive to become better.
What I remember most was how much I learned from her.
SHE wanted to be better. SHE wanted to be her best. SHE worked so hard.
And it all paid off. And it’s still paying off…
What I remember now–and still cherish today–was how right there on the spot, at a local barbecue restaurant, during lunchtime, in the middle of the summer, we recalled a fifth grade journey of teaching and learning. Together.
Our fifth grade journey together, and that moment before I ordered lunch from a former student are still special to me. In fact, they’re so sacred and special, they’re #WhyITeach.
Best. Service. Ever. When your server is also a former student and can recall fond memories of our fifth grade journey together. It's a special #tbt to a summertime #convergenceremix lunch, and it's a heartfelt reminder of #whyiteach. Thank you! #HamstraHighlights #SwimFwd pic.twitter.com/77yGCwtjKa
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) December 20, 2018
Why did you even go in to education? I just wanted to do something that really matters. The fact that forty years from now one person might remember something you said or recall helpful problem-solving strategies? Wow! Powerful. It's #whyiteach. #HamstraHighlights Your thoughts?
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) September 1, 2018
"To become the best leader you can be, you have to fall in love with the work you are doing and with the reason you are doing it. You have to fall in love with leading and the purpose you are serving (Kouzes & Posner, 2010, p. 145)." #ecumsa
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) November 22, 2018
A7: Teaching is a ❤️ thing. Teach because you ❤️ it. If you don't ❤️ it, then find something you DO ❤️, & do THAT with your whole ❤️. #ecet2
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) January 16, 2017