Ask anyone around me and they will agree that I love to read. Even when I am not reading you can find me writing about something that I have read. Sometimes, I wish the books would just jump swiftly up and into my brain, but that would take away the visualizing and absorbing of limitless amounts of information contained within the highlighted, folded and tattered pages which I have read and those that have still gone undiscovered. It would also prevent me from feeling the insatiable thirst for what lies ahead between the scent of a well worn book with wisdom that transcends generations and within the crisp fresh off the press aroma akin to that of a dimly lit printing press.
Pages, not computer screens hold a sacred place in my soul, and help to curb my insatiable desire for knowledge. So, it is no wonder that my mission in life has become to ensure that every student that I have the distinct pleasure of teaching becomes fully literate. I am not talking about that kind of literate where the student is able to pass the next high stakes test that deprives them of imagination and is clearly marked by background knowledge not known to all. I am talking about the kind of full passion, love and understanding that comes with the ability to read with such ease that it frees up the brain to complete other tasks that don’t involve processing ink sculptures within pages. These skills teach empathy, provide a means of escaping into another world and engross the reader into knowledge they would otherwise have been unable to obtain.
Now, I am not completely naive to think that I can reach every single child to this level. Even if I awaken that part of their soul that allows them to step into a puddle rather than an ocean, I have won. They have won.
I used to live in the “just a teacher” thought. The notion that makes us unwilling to lean forward and fall for the very reason we became teachers in the first place. I became a teacher because of passion. I always knew mediocrity was never an option for me, but sitting in the back of my mind has always been self-doubt and a desire to please everyone except my aspirations. My desire to truly change things was pushed beneath a fierce rip current associated with stigma and wedged between summative evaluations.
Although the burning desire to please still looms, it has recently been eclipsed by small steps towards high esteem. Although this may seem crass, I am not the only teacher who feels as if their fate is out of their hands. My peripheral vision allows me to look around, but keep moving forwards and turn my attention towards accepting failure as failure instead of defeat. I have worked to place my failures out in the open, exposed and in need of mending… for all to see. This. This. This is valuable.
Failure means that I tried. Failure means that I am willing to do anything it takes to experience success. When we stop failing, we stop learning. We stop innovating. We stop change. Only after failure do I have a chance to reflect, I am my own worst enemy after all and also my best critic.
It is time to rise above those who have told us that we cant or that we shouldn’t. It is time to rise above our substandard pay rate brought about by ignorant individuals. It is time to change how we feel about ourselves and how we allow ourselves to treat others. I choose guidance, acceptance, sympathy and passion.
Choose your passion… HOLD onto it. Don’t let anyone take that from you. No matter what, do it for yourself.
YOU hold your happiness ❤