Teach Like it’s
by Professor Joe Martin
When it comes to teaching, I’m often criticized for my
unbridled enthusiasm. I’ve been accused of being “child-like” and
somewhat “giddy” at the start of every new school year.
most teachers moan and groan about how short their summer was and how long the school
year will be, I’m called the “weird one” because I think the summer is
too long and the school year is too short.
After I prove to my colleagues I’m
not on drugs, I explain to them the reason for my unbelievable joy.
all, I explain to them (other educators) that we’re not just teachers. I tell
them, “We get paid to unwrap OTHER people’s gifts.” Allow me to
If you are fortunate enough to have children of your own
(or you’ve at least been a child ), you’ve more than likely
witnessed the anticipation a child feels on Christmas Eve. Now ask yourself, “Why
is that?” How come children are more restless on Christmas Eve than any other day
of the year – including their birthday or the day before a dental appointment?
It’s quite obvious, because children can’t wait to open their
gifts on Christmas morning. The hope of getting something they’ve prayed for the
entire year or better yet, what they least expected, causes the endorphins to jump in
their bodies like a hyperactive bunny rabbit. And who could blame them? They didn’t
pay any money for the expected gift, and they get to enjoy it all year as long as they
take care of it and don’t break it. I think you see where I’m headed with
Well, the night before every new school year, I get to be a child again
by re-living Christmas Eve. I know the parents have wrapped their gifts (children) as
beautifully as they possibly could, and they’ve chosen to share their gifts with
me (and you). And when I arrive on the first day of school, I have approximately 25 to
30 gifts waiting for me – just waiting to be opened. And they’re ALL mine.
And as long as I take care of them and don’t break them, I get to enjoy each gift
for a full year. Who can’t get excited about that?
However, the one
thing I must be aware of is that I can’t judge the gifts in my class by the
wrapping paper. Although their parents are sending me the best gifts they have (trust
me, they’re not keeping the good ones home), I must be sensitive enough to know
that some gifts are wrapped tightly, been mishandled, discarded, been returned, and even
arrive “special delivery.” But the point is, they are still gifts to be
treasured and appreciated, and that excites me.
So, if my enthusiasm at the
beginning of the new school year bothers you, take a look in the mirror. Because we’re
the only profession in the world that gets Christmas TWICE a year, and we get PAID for
it. What a job!
As always, keep the passion, and remember to practice what
Joe Martin is an award-winning national speaker, author,
professor, and educational consultant. His mission is to help students,
teachers, and administrators learn, lead, and live with purpose and passion. To
find out more visit his web site at https://www.NewTeacherUniversity.com.
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