This morning, I had breakfast with two former students to catch up on what each one of us was doing currently. Iy warmed my heart to hear them say that their studies and education have made all the difference in their lives. Then, for lunch, I met up with some former colleagues in the faculty and also caught up with one another what “racket” we were currently involved in. It was a great occasion for joy to reminisce our common experience and shared passion for teaching. It was a striking realization that, from our experience, our students appreciated and valued the most not the hard skills we taught them, like accounting skills or marketing smarts or the models we shared with them on strategic planning; but rather, they treasured the most the soft skills that they caught from us like values and principles and integrity and commitment.
I think of all the students tonight. it is the weekend. Some probably have assignments to finish over the weekend. Others are relishing their having been admitted to their university of choice. Still, others are already looking forward to Monday to see their friends or their favorite teacher who is also their crush. They do not think the world is going to end soon. Or that things are so hopeless that preparing for a future is futile. No, they look forward to a full blossoming yet of their young lives.
I think of all the teachers tonight. They probably are looking forward to the weekend to be able to recharge for the grind of next week. They are looking to do some of the things they have had to put off during the week because of the demands of their being a teacher. But like their students, they struggle on in their teaching with the firm hope and belief that there is a future ahead that is worth preparing for. They are working not just for their daily bread. No, they are building the future through their work with their students.
This is something I posted some eight years ago. I do not remember anymore if I wrote these lines or I picked them up somewhere. But it remind me that teaching is not just about earning a living. It is about building the future by preparing and building the young, the next generation.
“A teacher somewhere in your neighborhood tonight
is grading and preparing lessons to teach your children
while you are watching television.
In the minute it takes you to read this,
teachers all over the world are using their ‘free time’,
and often investing their own money,
for your child’s literacy, prosperity, and future.
Re-post if you are a teacher,
love a teacher,
or appreciate our teachers.”