What does it mean to be an educator?
That is a question I often ask myself, especially after beginning my professional career. I never know what to expect on a daily basis, whether that be teacher’s college, or going out into the field.
I have so many wonderful stories to share about what I do, I don’t know where to begin. However, I think I’ll start with one that really helps to answer that question, “What does it mean to be an educator?”
It was during my most recent placement. This time around I was in a 1/2 split class with a group of amazing students. I was nervous going in because this time I would be teaching more than 50% of the lessons, and as confident as I could be I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I was in a new school, with new staff. Would they even like me? Would the staff respect me? What would the students think?
My placement teacher was amazing at easing my worries. From the moment I met this teacher I felt comfortable and at ease. The entire staff there was incredible. This school, keep in mind was small, and was about to go through a big transition in the upcoming school year, but what I saw really gave me hope.
Each staff member went above and beyond the call of duty, organizing after school programs, breakfast clubs, sports, choir, special education (lessons, programs, training and understanding staff), inquiry centres, and fundraising.
They showed me that you could go into a staff room and have it be a positive experience, (no drama, no worries), and they showed me that if you really want something you can work towards it and make it better!
My placement teacher loved the job they had, and always put in the effort to allow the students to learn and grow they way they should. Forget the old ways, this teacher embraced the new, as did all the staff.
From what I can say, this was one of my favourite schools to work it.
But what about my original question, “What does it mean to be an educator?”
Well, the answer to that is my friend, it means many things: to mould minds, to inspire, to create, to make sacrifices, to jump through hoops, to research, to play, and to never stop learning. A teacher’s work is never done even when the final bell rings.