What Does it Take to be a Teacher? An Ode to Teaching

What does it take to be a teacher?
“Summers off?” they say. “That sounds easy.”
If people knew how much it took to teach,
our guess is that they would feel queazy.

You’re a coach and a guide,
helping students along the rocky road of learning.
Making the best of defeats
and celebrating good-grade earning.

You’re apparently a statistician
checking the data to see what you’re missing.
Everything from taking attendance to comparing test scores—
sometimes while angry parents are hissing.

You’re a parent to your kids,
except they aren’t your offspring.
You’ve had years of training;
what you offer can’t be found on Bing.

You’ve got the patience of a saint
repeating what you said again and again.
Though you were clear the first time,
your students were busy hitting “send.”

You are obsessed with your subject
making mundane topics come alive.
Remember that time you made a music video
to help them understand Catcher and the Rye?

You have a way of understanding
no two students are the same.
Relating to dozens of young lives
because empathy is your game.

Your work continues long after the bell rings—
from PD to staff meetings to checking with parents.
Not to mention lesson planning and entering grades—
those ungraded papers don’t care that you’re spent.

Still, you find a way to stay flexible and organized—
Color coding, printed labels, and name tags for all.
Oh what’s that a fire drill?
Good thing well-trained students are ready for roll call!

Teaching is the highest form of understanding,
even though it comes from the heart.
Besides being as intuitive as a yoga instructor
you’re also wicked smart.

So when someone says they know what you do,
just because he or she has been to school—
Dare them to spend one day in front of a class
then they might understand why teachers truly rule!

We know your day doesn’t end when the bell rings. Find out how you can cut down on the time you spend grading at www.gradeable.com

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