I’m a teacher. If I had to define myself as something, that’s what I would say. Sure, it’s my profession but I think it goes deeper than that. I like to pass on any type of knowledge that I’ve gained in my life to anyone that wants it… and sometimes those that don’t want it (ask my brother about that). But I believe that a good teacher is always a student, always learning. Maybe that’s why I like teaching; I enjoy learning just as much.
Most people don’t know it, but the classroom is a two-way street. Sure, most traffic flows from teacher to student, but we do get something back. Sometimes, all we get is the knowledge of some new song or other pop culture reference. Sometimes those alone are enough; I’ve found some pretty good music and movies thanks to my kids. On occasion, a student will introduce a new way of thinking about a problem, a way in which I wouldn’t have thought. And then other times they just teach you about life. When you meet so many people and form relationships with them, you are going to be able to have a glimpse into these lives. It’s amazing what kids see and have to deal with. Some actually go to work and are one of the main earners of their family. Many are in charge of the younger kids and household chores when they get home; sometimes to the extent that they are the ones that go to their siblings’ Parents Night at their schools. So many kids are thrust into adult lives, sometimes more adult than my own. But they all try to work through it. That’s damn impressive to say the least. Sometimes, these situations make it harder for me to be a teacher; so that challenges me. Other times, I just sit back and watch them deal with what they’re given and I’m amazed at what they can do. And I’m thankful for all of it; the challenges and the inspirations. No matter what, I’m learning to be more patient and understanding. I’m learning how to better reach different kids. In turn, I try to teach people I know these lessons. If only students knew how often they are teachers.