I was privileged enough a few days ago to witness what has become a familiar experience, my incredible wife being surrounded by her adoring students and their equally adoring parents, each singing her praises as a teacher and a human being.
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My wife is a fifth-grade teacher and was unequivocally born to teach. I know I can't be fully objective, but I've heard it so many times that I know it is accurate.
If only you could have seen the faces of the students, their heads swiveled upward to her face, their eyes glazed in admiration and love, their feet carrying them to whatever corner of whichever room she went into.
If only you could have heard the testimonies of the parents and the number of times they told her, "I can't tell you how much you've meant to my son," or "I don't have words to describe what a difference you've made to my daughter."
They simply cannot articulate the depth of their veneration for her.
My wife is one of those quite rare individuals whose teaching style is so relaxed and so very fluid that she must certainly possess inbred characteristics that make her so.
Most of us other mortals who teach/have taught are learned teachers. We enjoy passing on our knowledge in a way that makes sense to learners. We've gained insight and expertise over the years and are competent and perhaps even gifted teachers. But we weren't born to teach.
Born teachers have something special. They exude an aura of purity, of timelessness, of art. The rest of us work at our craft, while these truly amazing individuals paint educational portraits the rest of us can only stare at and ponder.
You might have — might have — run into a born teacher at some point during your education. Or perhaps you work with one. It's even possible that you are one yourself, though you probably don't consider yourself that way. Which is another attribute of born teachers, their humility.
If you know a born teacher, do yourself a favor. Reach out to them today.
Let them know how much you appreciated their vision, humor, professionalism, artistry.
Let them know how much you learned from them, what life lessons they gave you that only they could have.
Let them know how your life changed because they were in it.
Let them ponder those things all summer long and feel, yourself, grateful for having known and been taught by a born teacher.