As a veteran teacher and future principal, one of my favorite mottos is “when you lose heart, quit teaching.” A teacher who doesn’t have the desire to continue growing, learning, and caring for his/her students is the most damaging force in a classroom and a school. It can take years to get it right, but even beyond that, it takes a lifetime of learning and improving right along with the ever-changing student population. In teaching, there’s no such thing as “good enough.”
As with any job, it’s easy to get comfortable. To get into a groove and forget why you even started to begin with. So, in teaching, it’s important to constantly reevaluate and reflect. I can remember vividly my first couple of years and picture the glaring mistakes I made. But I can also remember the things I learned from those mistakes. The moment that a teacher stops learning from those mistakes is the moment that they should leave teaching behind. That’s the moment they can either become hypocritical and disillusioned, or can make the choice to go in a different direction with their lives.
I don’t care if you’ve been teaching for five years or fifteen, if you have just lost your passion for teaching or never had any to begin with… if you don’t care, why should your students?