Antoine de Saint-Expurery the author of "The Little Prince said: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”
Some people seek fame and fortune and some wander about through life. I wandered for a while myself, but I always sought some greater humanity. Teaching can open the door to that greater humanity for people. You can't leave my class without knowing the things you need to know, but you also get a healthy does of humanity. I am blessed by the presence of children and teachers who appreciate that dose of humanity. I often tell my teachers call me a captain who brings all safely to port. As I grow older I am starting to think of myself as a ship builder of sorts helping others long for immensity of that vast sea of humanity.
Education reformers have turned teaching into a series of meaningless licensure exams. Trust me on this they are doing more harm than good. They can turn potential teachers away. In Connecticut elementary teachers who become a Reading Specialist must pass 4 difficult licensure exams, plus going through rigorious tenure processes. You can't measure empathy, humanity, longing and hope on some standardized licensure exam. You have to feel it with your heart. Teaching at it's best requires a love of teaching, learning, and for those you teach.
How do you measure a teacher's humanity? I see it in the smiles of the children and teachers longing for that vast immense sea of learning. Sometimes I find it in a note or a card. I live for those notes and cards.
If you like to know what I am listening to as I prepare for class tonight...it's Sam Cook's "Wonderful World" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF6JMotbHYM