What does it mean to me, to be a teacher？
I am fifty six years young this year andit couldn’t be farther from the truth. You see being in a school keeps one young at heart and young in spirit. For forty six of those years I have been involved in schools in one way or another. Of those years, when I wasn’t a student I was a staff advisor, a chaperone, aguidance counselor, a mentor, a coach, a psychologist, a nurse, a tour guide, aschool computer network manager, a cafeteria server, an actor, a musician, acomedian, a story teller, a sounding board, a principal and above all I was ateacher. You see being a teacher involves all of the above. But more than that,as a teacher you are an inspiration. You have to be. You must inspire the young minds to grow and develop. You must provide hope to your students, you must be kind, benevolent, you must be a parent, you must be respectful, caring and giving. You must know how to listen, and you must be flexible, understanding,and forgiving. You must instill a sense of safety and security and a stable environment for them. You must learn to adapt and to communicate well indifferent ways by demonstrating, by describing, by imagining, and by role modeling. Teaching is not a career, it is not a job. To me teaching is a calling like it is for doctors and priests. You see all three callings aremeant to heal the mind, body and spirit. I must teach until I have no more togive and then I must stop to pass on the torch to someone that can keep thefire alive in the students’ belly.
I have started many programs and opened schools. They say that for every school that opens another jail closes.Starting a school is one of the most honorable acts of human activity. Alan Kayonce said that “If you want to predict the future, then invent it”. By openinga school, you are inventing the future. You are giving hope to thousands ofyoung minds that are full of dreams and hopes and wishes. You are giving hope to humanity. As a teacher you share in those dreams. You help your students transform those dreams into goals and you watch them flourish into beautiful minds. It is the greatest reward to a teacher when they finally see their students achieve their goals. It is the most amazing feeling that neither moneynor anything else for that matter can buy, when a student sends you a note thanking you for being by their side through the easy times and the hard times.As a teacher you never stop learning and a teacher’s best teachers are his orher students. Finally, as a friend of mine once wrote to me, our vision of astudent should be an individual with a secure sense of self, who embodies intellectual creativity, aesthetic sensitivity, and sound judgment, and whoresponds ethically to an ever-changing global community.
Principal of Huamei-Bond International College