By Angela Padrón
There’s an old saying that I’ve heard many times: “Those who can’t do, teach.” To me, that statement is suggesting that people who teach are unable to be successful in everyday jobs or careers and therefore have resorted to teaching, as if teaching is some low-level job that anyone can do.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Just as doctors possess the gift of healing, and artists and musicians have inner talents, those who teach have the gift of teaching. We teachers don’t get into teaching for the money; we do it because we desire to help students. We want to watch them grow and develop their skills in reading, writing, math, and other subjects. We enjoy watching a child’s eyes light up when they’ve grasped a concept, and we want to hold their hand when they’re struggling through.
We teach because we want to, not because we can’t do.
Some people may think teaching is an easy job, that anyone can do it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In today’s world, a teacher is more than just someone who stands up in front of a group of students and presents information. We teachers have to be concerned with students’ lives in and out of the classroom. We often have to take on the roles of nurses, counselors, parental figures, comforters, disciplinarians, interpreter, interventionists, philosophers, entertainer, etc. before we even open a textbook. Teaching today is a balancing act of so many skills.
Anyone with this “gift” for teaching should have:
- – Compassion for children’s well-being
- – Empathy for children’s varying levels of abilities and socio-economic statuses
- – Respect for children’s differing races, cultures and beliefs
- – Command of demanding respect for authority
- – Passion to help others
- – Ability to handle day-to-day responsibilities that come with teaching
- – And probably most important, good classroom management skills
So if you’re ever in doubt as to if you chose the right career path, remember why you became a teacher in the first place – because you are special, you have a gift, and with all the challenges children face today, we need gifted teachers like you more than ever.