I am a teacher. This I am sure of from the tips of my toes to the deepest part of my soul. But I am not the teacher you say I am.
You sit behind your keyboard and screen and you tell people who I am, what I value, what I care most about. But you don’t know me. I do not recognize myself in who you say I am.
You say I am lazy.
You say I only care about the money.
You say I do this job for the summers off.
You say I am overpaid.
You say I don’t really teach, I just let my students watch movies.
You say I don’t care about my students.
You say I leave as soon as the bell rings.
You say I let my kids play games instead of teaching them.
You say I teach because that is what you do when you can’t do anything else.
I do not know this teacher. This is not who I am. This is not who my students say I am. This is not who my family, my friends, and my colleagues say I am. This is just who YOU THINK I am, but that is not me.
I am a hardworking teacher.
I am a teacher who cares about her students as if they were my own children.
I am a teacher who loves her job.
I am a teacher who cries when your kids cry.
I am a teacher who comforts your kids when they are hurting.
I am a teacher who celebrates with your kids when they achieve something amazing.
I am a teacher who works many evenings and weekends.
I am a teacher who sits at the dinning room table and does her homework while her kids are doing theirs.
I am a teacher who sits in the doctor’s waiting room, the gym, the dance studio, etc… with her folders of tests and assignments to mark while waiting.
I am a teacher who chaperones school activities because it benefits my students.
I am a teacher who maintains an online classroom because it benefits my students.
I am a teacher who gives extra help before school, after school and at lunch.
I am a teacher who calls parents when I am concerned about their children.
I am a teacher who calls parents when I am proud of their children.
I am a teacher who writes reference letters for my students to help them get jobs, scholarships and entrance to university.
I am a teacher who listens when your kid needs someone to talk to.
And most of all, I am a teacher who is grateful that I get to teach every day.
That is who I am.