Why I #LoveTeaching

Why do I love Teaching is intrinsically intertwined with the question Why did I become a teacher? I wanted to change the world one child at a time. I can’t paint a beautiful masterpiece and I can’t make a violin bring tears to your eyes, well I could but I meant the moving sort of tears. I want to make the world better because I was born into it. So many people want to aspire to that cause. I’m fortunate because my violins and canvases are children. I get to help create masterpieces that like artwork at a museum are on loan to me for just one year. I add to them knowledge, pride, esteem, and values. Teachers are not building or creating future workers as many will have you believe, we are creating, building, nurturing future adults who will change the world. We are teaching them skills they will need for jobs but the values we are imparting to them on how to interact with fellow students will transfer into their lives forever making them better people. Every single Nobel Peace Prize winner was taught by teachers who impacted them along their journey.

I value my students for the people they are, not what they can do. I value them so deeply I want them to be able to choose any path in life they want to. That’s why I teach them subjects and skills. Those are the passports to a better life. When I was young I was at times a very sad child and some of my heroes were teachers who saw that sadness and the simple act of worrying about me showed they cared. They wanted me to succeed but more importantly they wanted me to be happy. Happy seems to be a forgotten goal of school. It is often marginalized and devalued in the current push for educational reform. I simply point out that Happiness is in our country’s Declaration of Independence thus making it an unalienable right. I am not aware of any other country that had the forethought to make such a bold profession of the importance of being happy.

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness….    Thomas Jefferson

I love teaching because I get to make sure children are happy at a time when it should happen in abundance. At the same time I provide them the knowledge and skills that will guarantee a lifetime of happiness to come. I received the following email from a mom of two siblings that I had as students several years apart. It is why I love teaching.

Hi Mr. Dunlea,

I just wanted you to know how much of an influence you’ve had on my girls. Colleen and I were watching animal planet and she was quite engrossed with animal rescuers. I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, expecting her to say a vet.  However she said she wanted to be a teacher.  I asked what grade and she said 2nd, just like Mr. Dunlea, a great teacher.  But she said she could do animal rescue on the side.    We discuss you often and every teacher that my girls have end with the comparison to you.  There really is no comparison.  You’ve set the benchmark so high it’s tough for all other teachers. Keep up the great work, you’re building a dynasty. Ellen Jones

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