The Power of Teaching: Impacting Lives Beyond the Classroom
Teachers take incredible pride in what they do. It is not just about teaching their subjects, but also life lessons and values that will carry their students throughout their entire lives. Read on to get a first-person account of several experienced teachers who lead by example and have passion for their craft.
Editor’s Note: To show our gratitude – we are giving away 6 months of free professional development to all teachers that you can redeem today, or a gift to someone you know who is making a difference. Read on to find out about what makes teaching such a fulfilling career.
The opportunity to be part of a student’s journey from a child to an adult is one of the most fulfilling experiences for our teachers and what they consider important. But most recently, the teaching profession has faced increasing challenges. Since the pandemic, teacher shortages have become a burden on school districts. There are an estimated 118,000 current teacher position openings nationwide, and that number is expected to grow to 200,000 over the next three years, according to an Education Week survey.
Of the teachers who have left their school districts since the pandemic, more than half have said they’d be willing to return to the profession under the right conditions. Our active teachers point to resilience and making a positive, lifelong impact on their students as part of the reason they are proud to teach.
“We are a group of passionate individuals who refuse to give up,” said Spanish teacher Rosie M. “For me, it’s the knowledge I consider myself fortunate to know that I can go in this every day and shape someone’s mind and share the knowledge that I have.”
For teachers, there is more to the profession than teaching the curriculum, but an understanding of the significant role they play in their student’s development.
“There are so many other lessons that I have to empower my students with, like teaching them determination, teaching them hard work, compassion, empathy, all of those core values and lessons in life that my students will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Rosie M.
Modern Teachers Recognize the Importance of Social and Emotional Learning
Great educators know this: The temperament of a classroom environment can set the pace for whether or not a student will feel comfortable in expressing themselves. As a result, the emotional well-being of students has become a top priority for school district leaders and teachers since the pandemic.
According to the Washington Post, 76% of educators say they have expressed concerns about student anxiety, depression, or trauma since the pandemic. Seven in ten schools say they have a program in place to address issues surrounding social and emotional learning.
“I think that my wheelhouse as a teacher are students who maybe haven’t felt seen by a teacher before,” said Lisa M., grade 6 – 12 English teacher.
During this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, Lisa M. elaborated more on how she helps her students find their inner voice by creating a safe place for them to express themselves.
Education Pride: Working with Students from All Walks of Life
Our teachers expressed that they consider their students as part of their community, and hope the students feel the same way about them.
“If I teach you Shakespeare or English, at the end of the day, that’s awesome. But if I made you feel like you matter and you’re important, then I’ve met my goal,” said Ellen K., grades 6 – 12 English teacher.
The expression “it takes a village to raise a child” is one that our teachers also take to heart. They understand that the development of a child does not simply fall on their parents but also on the educators who are part of their journey as well.
“Maybe they haven’t felt heard or need to know that they matter, that their story matters,” said Lisa M. “What I’m here to do is to help them figure out how to bring their voice into the world.”
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