When it comes to teaching, Im often criticized for my unbridled enthusiasm. Ive been accused of being child-like" and somewhat giddy" at the start of every new school year. While most teachers moan and groan about how short their summer was and how long the school year will be, Im called the weird one" because I think the summer is too long and the school year is too short.>
After I prove to my colleagues Im not on drugs, I explain to them the reason for my unbelievable joy.
First of all, I explain to them (other educators) that were not just teachers. I tell them, We get paid to unwrap other peoples gifts." Allow me to explain.
If you are fortunate enough to have children of your own (or youve at least been a child), youve more than likely witnessed the anticipation a child feels on Christmas Eve. Now ask yourself, Why is that?" How come children are more restless on Christmas Eve than on any other day of the year -- including their birthdays or the day before a dental appointment? Its quite obvious -- because children cant wait to open their gifts on Christmas morning. The hope of getting something theyve prayed for the entire year or better yet, something they least expected, causes the endorphins to jump in their bodies like a hyperactive bunny rabbit. And who can blame them? They didnt pay any money for the expected gift, and they get to enjoy it all year, as long as they take care of it and dont break it. I think you see where Im headed with this.
Well, the night before every new school year, I get to be a child again by re-living Christmas Eve. I know the parents have wrapped their gifts (children) as beautifully as they possibly could, and theyve chosen to share their gifts with me (and you). And when I arrive on the first day of school, I have approximately 25 to 30 gifts waiting for me -- just waiting to be opened. And theyre ALL mine. As long as I take care of them and dont break them, I get to enjoy each gift for a full year. Who cant get excited about that?
The one thing I must be aware of, however, is that I cant judge the gifts in my class by the wrapping paper. Although their parents are sending me the best gifts they have (Trust me, theyre not keeping the good ones home), I must be sensitive enough to know that some gifts are wrapped tightly; some have been mishandled, discarded, or returned; and some even arrive special delivery." But the point is, they still are gifts to be treasured and appreciated, and that excites me.
So, if my enthusiasm at the beginning of the new school year bothers you, take a look in the mirror. Because were the only profession in the world that gets Christmas twice a year, and we get paid for it. What a job!
As always, keep the passion, and remember to practice what you teach!
Article by Joe Martin
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