365 Days

525600 minutes,

365 days,

And a year has past.


In my next year I will spend

180 of those days

With my students,


But for the past 4 years I kept track of those days in classes

Asking questions and learning about the definition

Of what it meant to be a teacher.


So what does it mean?


It means long nights and short weekends,

And finding time you don’t have for grading papers,

And buying enough pencils and erasers

To build a fort

When you know full well that you will lose all of those

Within the first semester.


It also means giving back to the school that gave you a voice,

And taught you more about yourself and others

Than it did about American presidents and quadratic equations.

It means shedding light on the students without a guide,

And shattering each mirror that threatens to damage a person’s self image.

It’s listening and understanding the students sitting in front of you—

The kids who are asking to be heard, and asking questions that will someday shape their world,

And yours.

This is what it means to be a teacher.

It is someone who is willing to spend every day learning,

Someone who measures worth in effort and character,

Rather than in numbers.


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