If you’re a teacher you have probably heard of Taylor Mali.
“Mali is a vocal advocate of teachers and the nobility of teaching, having himself spent nine years in the classroom teaching everything from English and history to math and S.A.T. test preparation.”
“Taylor Mali is the author most recently of “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World””
If you have never watched the “What Teacher’s Make” speech you need to see it, teacher or not.
As many of you know I have chosen the glamorous lifestyle of a teacher.
Don’t let my sarcasm fool you, I really do love what I do…
It’s just not glamorous.
So why did I choose it?
Why do I do it?
Here is a little insight into my teaching story…
What if the world was free from hate, violence, hunger, and the multitudes of worldly issues we encounter each and every day? While this concept is one that lingers in many of our minds and as a majority we would argue that it is something that we will continuously fight for, we can all agree to one variable. Even if we were to obtain such a beautiful existence we would still need to produce passionate and knowledgeable teachers and leaders. Without guidance even the most peaceful environments would be destroyed and with the same regard, without guidance our most capable students would deviate from the rightful path. As Harry S. Truman stated “In period where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
I believe there are two types of educators in our world. There are educators who are born with the spark to teach and guide others naturally, who without much effort exalt the ability to find qualities in others that they may not otherwise find in themselves. Then there are educators who fall into the role often times without choosing the role. From the beginning of my life it was known to not only myself but to others that I was designed specifically for a professional path in Education.
I love spending time in the classroom, seeing the light bulb spark in that student who you had to approach differently in teaching a concept, and creating a sense of classroom community. However, as a long term goal, I see myself in Educational Leadership roles. I want to interact with and help guide current teachers in their journey of finding their niche in Education. I want to be a cheerleader to those educators who are natural born leaders in the classroom and encourage them as they continue to work hard each and every day. I want to show them they’re appreciated, push them to keep growing and learning in one of the few fields that require us to continue to learn as we teach, and I want to be there for them as they thrive. I want to come alongside the educator who strives with persistence to be a strong leader in Education and offer them encouragement, guidance, and an ear to listen when the daily challenges in our field seem to become overbearing.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Through my work as an educator, a mentor, a coach, a co-worker, a friend I have watched firsthand as individuals reached a goal that they thirst for but did not think was obtainable.
Each of these moments adds up to more fortune than any paycheck could ever bestow upon me.
Why do you do what you do?
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, who was the teacher that made the largest impact on you and why?