To the passionate teacher: thank you
Updated: Dec 4, 2019
Our children spend six hours a day at school. Surprisingly, the teaching profession is one of the least valued of all.
If you ask me, I admire anybody who dares to spend more than five minutes in a room full of noisy children.
But since I became a Mum I've also realized that the saying is true: "Teaching is a passion", and not all educators are passionate about teaching children.
When I was a schoolgirl a few years ago, I loved school. I always got 10/10 and teachers adored me.
The other side of the coin is that I was extremely shy, I didn’t have friends, and I lived in a shell because I was too scared to socialize.
Unfortunately for people like me, life is much more than getting good marks. A 10/10 may help you to have a good job but won't help you to get the social skills to navigate the real world with confidence... and to be happy.
When Dragon Ryder started school last year, I was very scared. Yes of course I wanted her to learn to read and to learn skip counting and so on.
But mostly, more than anything else, I wanted her to be happy at school in her own skin.
We were very lucky that Dragon Ryder's first teacher is a passionate educator. She believes in teaching all children, not only the ones who have good marks. She believes in following the children’s lead and instilling in them a love for learning that will hopefully last a lifetime. She believes that school is a place to learn skip counting but also how to relate to others, how to think critically and how to be safe in the digital world.
Dragon Ryder’s first teacher reminds me of my Music teacher when I was at school. You see, Music was the only subject I was not good at, because my singing voice is worse than the sound of two cats fighting. But my teacher didn’t mind. He taught us the curriculum but he also shared with us captivating songs and the stories behind them, lovely melodies and the inspiring musicians who created them. He knew that school was not only a place to teach musical notes, but to also talk about life.
At the end of every year, we all sang individually in front of the class. I know now that I was horrible at it, but I didn’t know then. Because at the end of my performance he always said with the biggest smile: “Wonderful job Anna, you’ve improved so much!”. And he always gave me a good mark.
I think that Teaching is one of the hardest professions in the world. Not only because of the noisy children but mainly because there’s that belief that “everybody can be a teacher”.
For sure, we can all go to University and become teachers. Schools are full of good teachers and I respect them. But if you ask me, I would like that my children have the good fortune of finding many passionate educators in their school journey.
Teachers who don’t worry so much about students finishing set tasks, but encourage them to follow their passions.
Teachers who accept children the way they are, the shy ones but also the so-called disruptive ones.
Teachers who don’t praise success but value effort. Teachers who help children to feel good in their own skin, even if they sing like a pair of fighting cats.
I still remember fondly my music teacher and I like sharing his songs with my little ones. He was like Dragon Ryder’s first teacher, somebody who loves teaching kids and loves learning from them.
Not everybody can be a teacher, like not everybody can be a singer, a neurosurgeon or an astronaut. The world needs more passionate teachers because they support the children who will become passionate singers, passionate neurosurgeons and passionate astronauts.
Anna is a journalist and a mother of three children under the age of 7, Dragon Ryder, Gecko Princess and Baby Anaconda. She spends most of her week being a stay-out-of-home Mum to tire her three energetic girls while she thinks and writes about the joys and struggles of parenting.