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Why I Teach

Teaching adolescents is always adventurous. Some students are eagerly responsive and need little encouragement to move forward. Such students consume knowledge like a galloping horse gobbles up distance. As a teacher, I merely need to guide them with a slight touch of the reigns to ensure that they progress in a positive direction. Quick thinking and foresight are essential when dealing with a spirited learner.

Other students require me to dive down deep into the murky depths of the human psyche. Like a sunken ship, this place is sacred territory; a place that is not visited by many, a place to which I may be denied access. To gain access, I must cultivate trust. Together with such a student, I search for hidden strengths in attempt to reveal a forgotten, or a not yet realized gift that will prove to be a promising treasure the student can depend on for future success and prosperity. This student requires me to have keen observation, delicate communication skills, and an open mind and heart. Such an experience always promises to be revealing. The student learns about him or herself and I learn about myself.

Regardless if my students and I are flying by the seat of our pants in an exhilarating discovery of the vast and breathless expanse of human expression, or if we are slowly and meticulously exploring the hidden crevices of a unique life experience, learning is a struggle. But it is a struggle with a promise. With each step we gain something, and once we reach the peak of any given experience, the view from the top always justifies the struggle. From such a vantagepoint, what was once unfamiliar is now understood, and with that, we come to understand that we have the strength to achieve.

I hope to continue to learn about people and places, and teach teenagers about people and places. It is my sense of adventure that draws me to shipwrecks, mountains, and spirited horses. But most importantly, it inspires me to share life with my students through learning.

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