I know that may seem like a silly question on a blog written for educators, but I've been thinking lately about the difference between a teacher and an educator. I do think most people could walk into a classroom, open a TE and "teach" a lesson, but is that really what our job is all about? I believe that there are a lot of "teachers" in our schools who are there for many different reasons, but who are not educators at heart. I believe an educator is someone who is totally committed to the development of the whole child. It is not enough to cram information down their throats. If our children do not FEEL loved, accepted, and secure, the information never really takes root and blossoms into knowledge and eventually, wisdom. Have you ever had a job where you dreaded going to work every day? I know I have. At least I always knew in the back of my mind, I was there by choice. If I really wanted, I could go out and look for another job. I can't imagine being a young child who has to go to school each day knowing (or at least believing) that one of the most influential adults in their young lives doesn't really like them, (and they really have no choice about which classroom they are in for the year.) I mean, who are we to decide who gets to be liked and who doesn't? Every single child is a gift from God, and yes, I know they can be annoying and difficult and unmotivated and inattentive and ...etc...just like we all can be sometimes. (Admit it, if you are human, there are days when you are annoying and difficult to be around - LOL.) However, that doesn't mean that they don't have hopes and dreams. Those hopes and dreams may not seem attainable, but then isn't that our job? No, not a job, a calling. I know we all have THOSE DAYS where no matter what you do, your students seem determined to get on every last nerve you have, and then some. And, we are all human and sometimes react in ways that we wish we hadn't. There have been times over the years when I've responded to an event or a child in a way that I regretted almost immediately. I am thankful to a friend and mentor who told me that admitting your wrong and asking forgiveness is not a sign of weakness. So, whenever I have responded in a way that I am not happy about, I have gone to that child privately (and then sometimes to the class as a whole), admitted that I was wrong and asked them to forgive me. I also explained that this didn't mean they no longer had a consequence for their behavior, just that I wished that I had responded differently. I've tried to make sure that child understood that his/her behavior was unacceptable, but we work together to "fix" the issue. Most importantly, I've wanted every child in my classes throughout the years to KNOW that I am their champion...I'm on their side....I love and LIKE them...and want them to succeed, not just academically, but in all areas of their lives. We tell our students that mistakes are okay when they are working on academics, so why aren't mistakes okay in their behavior? Most schools (I think) use some type of positive discipline and discipline means to teach, not punish and beat down.
I have a feeling this rambles just a little (or maybe a lot). Please forgive any grammatical errors. I'm really thankful to have found the world of blogging. It's great to be able to "vent" to like-minded people.
Have a Terrific Thursday!