Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Heartbreak and Reward of Teaching

Today I didn't have any students but was meeting with parents for conferences and was reminded about the heartbreak and rewards that come with this job. All of the parent's made me feel like what I do is important and that my time was valuable. I shared laughs and fun stories with all of them. We talked realistically about their child's academic and social struggles, we came up with solutions together and took a few moments to know each other as people. I know a lot of teachers struggle to enjoy the parents, but I really and truly do. I enjoy meeting them, talking with them, getting to know them and connecting with them as people. Some parents have infuriated me in the past for a variety of reasons but overall, I absolutely adore meeting them. In fact, I would say it is a reward of the job nine times out of ten.
But the heartbreak comes when you find out what some of your students have suffered in their little lives. Today, one of my parents shared with me what the child in their care has been through. It broke my heart but I felt so honoured and blessed that this parent would share with me so that I could better understand the child and their needs.
I've never done this job for the money... it has always been about the heartbreak and the rewards. I believe we are called to be broken for someone or something and I am broken for the children. I believe that my purpose in life is to love the unloved through teaching and working with kids. And it is a blessing to receive the rewards of their smiles, hugs, learning, respect etc. I love what I do and today I was reminded why.

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