Friday, February 15, 2013

Teaching: Love It Or Leave It?

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  Without a doubt, the word of the day was, "Love".  This brings to mind a question.

When it comes to being a teacher, working at a particular school, or our opinions of our students, do we really "love it"?

We certainly say we do.  I can't count how many times I have heard a teachers say she "loves teaching", "loves his students", or "loves her school".  The same goes for social media.  How many blog posts, Facebook comments, Twitter messages, etc. speak of the "love" for school/students/teaching?

The problem is the distance between love and hate may not be as far as we would like.  One might even look at a "range of satisfaction" and see something like this:

Love....Like....Acceptable....No Opinion....Prefer Not....Dislike....Hate

Not far, is it?  As a matter of fact, it took only about 3 inches to go from "Love" to "Hate".

Joking aside, in the course of your work as an educator, you are going to feel that range from time to time.  Every day is not going to be one you "love" and every day is not going to one you "hate".  The key, I guess, is to look at your work and see where it falls when you examine it overall.  Do you generally feel on the love or hate side of the equation?  I might even go so far as to suggest that for teachers, the "no opinion" option falls on the "hate" side.

On the other hand, teaching is not easy.  In order to do it well, one often has to:
  • endure some pain
  • make sacrifices
  • put the needs of others above their own
  • accept that there will be good days and bad
  • all while expecting little, if any, reciprocation from our students

That sounds like love to me.
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