On the first night of my university class, as I look at this new group of excited and usually nervous, budding educators, I talk to them seriously about teaching as a calling. I tell them very bluntly, “If teaching is not your calling, don’t do it. It’s much too hard.”
What is a calling? Webster defines it as “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action, especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” I define it as the place where your deepest heart’s cry and the world’s greatest needs intersect. The knowing resides deep within you and whispers to you that you are doing what you were meant to do.
It’s a recharging exercise to go back to why you entered this profession every once in awhile. You know those “awhiles” – when the whole class seems as though they had eaten nothing but spoonfuls of sugar for three days, when your administrator has asked for yet another piece of paperwork, when IT decides to “improve” by reformatting the program you use daily, when a parent accuses you of not meeting the needs of her child……you know those days. Remind me again WHY I’m doing this!
For many of us, the answer would be, “I went into this profession to make a difference.”
Sigh. Those are the times when it’s important to regain focus. Sit down in a quiet place with your cup of tea, and think of each child in your classroom. Think of the progress each one has made. Determine to let them know that you have noticed, even if it’s minuscule. Acknowledge that you ARE making a difference in that child’s life, and no matter how small, determine that you will continue each day to value, to acknowledge, to honor, and to help each child who walks through your door. And then, in confidence, know that you are where you are meant to be, making a difference in a way only you can……and try again tomorrow.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” Mary Anne Radmacher