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,
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.