Why I Teach.

Man at Work

Man at Work

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.Andy Rooney 

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” John Steinbeck 

I taught in Maryland, Singapore, and Japan. I now teach 4th grade students in Hong Kong. In 1985, I enrolled as an elementary education major at Bridgewater State College of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. I have continued to earn a paycheck as a teacher from August 1990, to the present. Until now, I have never seriously considered doing anything else, but teach.

Initially, I merely wanted to help struggling kids find success in the classroom. As a senior in high school, I was an intern for a classroom of learning-disabled, elementary-aged children. I knew I had found my calling within the first week of my internship. I have lived a life of learning and teaching ever since.

So many inspired educators, inside and outside the classroom have affected the way I practice my craft. As a public school student, I learned to value all teachers, regardless of their ability. As a teacher, I teach my students to value themselves and acquire habits of life long learners.

To be an effective teacher, one must model kindness, compassion, organization, intelligence, flexibility, collaboration, an understanding of educational technology, a belief in one’s ability, trust in your teammates, and perseverance. I expect school leaders to offer and house a brain-researched, structured, engaging, differentiated curriculum.

My first day as a teacher was nothing short of a disaster; my Mid-Atlantic based students had little idea what their New England teacher was saying. Still, I talked way too much. My lesson plans were highly organized. Alas, I was painfully unsuccessful as a manager of time. My Boston accent was very thick. My students giggled a nervous laugh every time I tried to communicate. I had little idea how mentally exhausting the job would be.

Today, I am much more relaxed and confident. I seek the advice of administrators and specialists less. Rather, I independently investigate how the human brain actually acquires knowledge. For professional development, I greatly rely on Twitter and my professional learning network. I make the time to read professional trade books more than ever.

My best advice for new teachers is to live conservatively, so that you liberally develop your craft. Demand more from you than anyone else could ever demand. Work hard. Inspire others to believe in themselves through learning.

Teachers, all over the world, why do you STILL teach? How has your teaching practice evolved? What factors are competing with you from doing your best work? Best of luck as you continue your journey.

Do well.

 Reference:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_teacher.html#uq72kxGKtOewvemU.99

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9 thoughts on “Why I Teach.

  1. Barry, your Aunt Bertha would be very proud of you, as we all are!

  2. Thanks Kate,

    Your blog is awesome. Keep writing.

  3. So very true. There is always more to learn.

    One of my biggest challenges has been to try not to beat up on myself for not knowing more than I know or doing better than I do. Even in my best years, I noted areas for growth and thought “If only I had…”

    The commitment to continued growth is key for all of us – no matter how many years of experience. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Barry Mernin, International School Teacher, Why I Teach

  5. Pingback: Why I Teach | Teaching Your Way Around the World

  6. Mr. Mernin, I started reading the TIE newsletter and saw your name. I had to do a double take. This is the same teacher that helped me out with Model United Nations in high school at Canadian Academy. Years later, I’m teaching my own group of 4th graders in Mississippi. Thanks for holding us to high standards then and now.

    • Johann, You are quite welcome. I am very proud of your decision to become a teacher. Canadian Academy is very near and dear to me and I am happy to hear that you seem well. Best of luck and please feel free to use me as a resource. I have been teaching forever and I can help you out from afar.

      Enjoy life in Mississippi. Teach well.

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