I am a Teacher Because

I am a Teacher Because

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because my mother was a teacher. She doesn’t talk much about being a teacher other than to say she was given the worst of the worst students. People had given up on her students but my mother decided she was going to make them learn. When I have tough days (we all have tough days in our profession), my mother tells the story to me. She tells me about the kids she had that couldn’t read, write, or do math. But the headmaster of the school gave the new teacher (my mother) the most challenging students anyways. She sent them home with the assignment to collect 100 of something. She taught them how to add, subtract and multiply. Hearing that story on tough days reminds me anyone can make a difference, not matter how inconsequential you think your actions are. I am a teacher because my mother believed in everyone.

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because my father is a teacher. Late at night, when I usually talk to my dad, he shares with me his experience teaching people he works with. For a guy who grew up on a farm, in rural Jamaica, who received his high school diploma in the US, and is a prosthetic technician that teaches doctoral candidates, he has come a long way. He has seen many things. When he tells me some people have to be talked to in different ways, everyone can learn, and says, “I wish I was given the opportunities you were given,” it keeps me committed to teaching my students. I am a teacher because my father made me value education.

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because my third grade teacher gave me so many chances to learn from my mistakes. She was new to the school, I was new to the school, and together we were going to learn things the hard way. I tried and tried to do my best, but most days it wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t go to P.E. in the correct uniform, I struggled to get through a whole week without a phone call home, and I couldn’t even bring soda to the correct refrigerator. Although my teacher wanted the year to end as quickly as possible so I could be out of her hair (my thought, not hers), she always told me, “I’ll give you another chance.” I am a teacher because my third grade teacher believed in me.

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because my wife told me her students made her laugh. The boss changed careers (from the sales world) and found so much joy in teaching young kids. Every day she came home and I’d press her for details. I’d ask her questions and have her tell me the play-by-play of what happened throughout the day. I couldn’t get enough of hearing how her students tackled problems, dealt with issues, and were genuinely happy to see her. I am a teacher because my wife taught me going to work with a smile on your face is always worth it.

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because I want to see children grow to be better than the were the day before. In my first interview, an administrator asked me, “Do you want your kids to like you?” I didn’t hesitate. I said, “No. I want my kids to love me. I want my students to come into school because they are hungry to learn. I want them to be hungry to do more than the did the day before. But most importantly, I want kids to become live long learners.” Just this past week I was told my old students they couldn’t visit me at the end of the day (in case they miss their bus). No problem for them, I’d given them the skills to think for themselves. They decided to visit me in the morning. I told them I would be out for a few days to care for my daughter who recently had surgery. Guess who was greeted with a chorus of “Oh no’s?” Fast forward two days into my leave, I bumped into a few of those students at their basketball practice. They ran out of their drill, screamed, “Mr. Bruff!” at the the top of their lungs, asked how My Precious was doing, did the Brufftopian Year 4 Handshake, and rejoined their drill without skipping a beat. I can tell I’ve done something right (more likely they are a product of parenting). I am a teacher because of the people in my life.

The people around me taught me teachers believe in everyone. Teachers value education. Teachers give every student a chance. Teachers find a reason to smile.

4 thoughts on “I am a Teacher Because

  1. A lot of good influences in your life, Chris. Who would have thought that boy in 3rd grade who got weekly phone calls home would be a teacher now? Quite the success story.

    1. Who would of thought? But, now I’ve heard everything the students can come up with. Between my friends and I, I’ve heard every excuse one could dream up.

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