Gratitude for teachers
Recently, I’ve been chatting with high school groups who come by Place to see Crime Against Nature. I talk about being an artist and answer a few questions. It takes me a half hour, and those are thirty minutes I thoroughly enjoy—in case this blog doesn’t make it obvious, I love talking about my work.
The other day, I was given a pile of thank-you cards to reward my efforts. I was touched by the gesture, and it reminded me that I had a thank-you of my own to write.
I’m not a teacher. What’s more, I couldn’t be one because I don’t have everything that it takes to inspire students on a daily basis. To be an educator, you need:
- knowledge that should be shared.
- a willingness to dig for more knowledge all the time.
- an ability to entertain since no amount of content will make it to its intended audience without brilliant delivery.
- a seemingly unfailing supply of self-confidence.
- smarts in order to problem-solve about the best way to reach an individual student with her-his specific needs.
- genius to figure out the best way to reach a whole group of students at the same time.
- a certain kind of sensitivity which allows you to discern what’s working and what’s not in a particular classroom dynamic.
- heaps and hills and mountains of patience.
- and the energy and affability of at least eighteen puppies.
I hope I hit on most of the things you must have in order to be teacher, but I’m sure I didn’t get it all. It is not an easy job. I am deeply grateful to those who commit themselves to educating the next generation. Each of you is my hero.