When I went to New York City for the first time this summer, there was a lot of things that I expected. I was not disappointed, and I mean this in a good way. However, it was the unexpected that blew me away and that I will always stick with me (and make me want to go back).
The major unexpected thing for me was that I absolutely fell in love with the city. I loved it! I loved everything about it! We were only there for two days, and I took around 500 pictures! I took pictures of anything and everything! You can probably tell. I have used the pictures on the blog a lot. 🙂 There are so many things that made me just love the city, but one of the big things was another unexpected thing, and that is the New York City Police Department.
I have heard that the NYPD has a reputation of love for their city and will do what they can to take care of the city and the people who call it home. There are stories (and movies) here and there of “cops gone bad,” but that is really few and far between. I believed the good things that I heard. I expected to respect the police there, very much. And I did. What I did not expect was the pride.
Pride is one of the only words I can think of the NYPD when I look back at our trip. Every NYPD officer that I saw showed pride. I do not know how to explain what I mean by that. The best I can say is that pride for themselves and the city was on them like a part of their uniform. They wore it and it shined off of them like the summer Sun off of something shiny. Pride oozed from their being. This was especially so the closer you got to the 9/11 Memorial site. They were proud of who they are, what they do, who they represent, and their city. And they made me feel that pride. It gave me a far deeper respect for them, and it does me great honor to talk about them right now. Their pride changes them, and I have a feeling that their pride is a part of why people fall in love with NYC.
I could talk more about this, much more. We had some cool encounters with some police officers while we were there, but I think you get the point. Pride is powerful. Pride for the right things is even more powerful. It makes people respect what you do, but more than that, it makes people want to be more because you are more. Pride is a part of the more that I wrote about yesterday. Pride changes lives!
Teacher, are you proud about what you do? I mean really proud? I am not just talking about the “yeah, my job is kinda important, I guess” kind of pride. I mean the pride that oozes from you. People know that you are serious about what you do, you take time and effort to get better at it every day, and it just shines off of you in all that you do (in and out of school). You are not ashamed to talk about what you do, and you talk to people about it you make them excited for you because your excitement for the beauty of education bubbles and bursts out of you in a geyser of pride.
Is this kind of pride for education something that people know you for? Are you like the police officer on the streets of New York that gives off a pride that you can feel from just looking at them? Is this you? Do you wear pride like a uniform? Do you put it on every morning…even on non-school days?
Teacher friend, think about it. You are a teacher. YOU ARE A TEACHER! You are an artist that works in the medium of minds and hearts. You get to help students have “aha moments” each and every day. You get to find new ways to show connections between ideas and contents. You get to help people think on their own. You get to show how you learn. You get to learn constantly. You get to make a plan, implement, evaluate, and then try again. You get new students every year. You get to be involved in their lives. You get to help them make decisions. You get to help them make decisions on their own. You get to mold and shape lives. You get to put your fingerprints on the future. The future will not be the same because you do what you do every day! You make a difference with every sec0nd of every minute of the time you put in!
Show some pride! You have the most amazing job/career in the world! Love what you do! Really love it! I mean REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT! Once you love it, let that pride ooze off of you and infect everyone you come in contact with!
Don’t begrudge planning, PD, PLCs, faculty meeting, seminars, parent conferences, student conferences, and all of the minutia of the day/week/month/year! Embrace them! They may be boring or mind-numbing, but they are the things that help you do what you do and make you better at it! Let your pride in what you do make those things less irritating! I know your job is hard, I am just like you, but look at those hard parts as things that can just make you better! Love what you do and let your pride shine!
You are awesome! You ARE making a difference! You do have pride in what you do. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this! Find a way to remember what you love, embrace it, and start oozing pride today. I know that you will. You are amazing! Keep on teaching, Teacher!
PS… Let me share the comic version of the Taylor Mali poem that I shared last Friday. It was just created and released on Zen Pencils. Warning, there is just a little language in it, but I think it is worth it. It sums up what I wrote this morning and the pride we feel as teachers!