Teacher Responsibilities


2000, Miami Beach: Teacher Responsibilities

Today I was struck by one of the little things, or perhaps it wasn’t so little. As I arrived 30 minutes early to the classroom to finish my lesson planning, and stood erasing the board in front of thirty or so empty desks, the thought hit me, again, that I’m a teacher now. A real teacher. A certified one. Not an assistant, not a teacher in training, but one they put up in the front of a class, with no immediately-present supervision. One responsible for the learning progress of all the students in that classroom. Important students; ones who live in the community and signed up for classes, for education, for better lives. They give you three hours of their time. And you have to be good. You’re on the spot. You have to know your stuff, prepare, lesson plan, be on time, have it together, wield influence, know the answers, be one step ahead all the time, manage people situations, personalities, egos, feelings, correct homework, grade tests, assign essays that matter, etc., etc. What an awesome responsibility. I’ve always been a little hesitant to move into positions of more responsibility. Paradoxically, I want the responsibility, because I know I can handle it. Because you have to believe you’re good before you can be good. Ed taught me some of that. But also, even though I know I will do well, I take so seriously the responsibility, that I’m awed by it. I want to do SOOO well…can I?? Can I handle it? Give it to me. Only time and execution will tell. Wow. I’m a teacher now. Like all the great ones I’ve ever had, from Mrs. Pitt, to Sister Hillarion, to Ms. Jordan, Mrs. Frienmuth, Mr. Swaggart, Mr. Mahota, Mr. Abel, Mr. David, Mr. Nolan, Mr. Molina, Mr. Giuliano, Mr. Raimo, Mr. Trick, Mr. Seele, Dr. Immerwhar, Dr. Cavadini, Dr. Burke — the list goes on and on. Which one of my teachers weren’t great teachers and mentors and human beings committed to the betterment of their fellow beings? Wow. I’ve got to be as good as they were. I owe it to my students. I owe it to them. I owe it to the world. Like Nadine taught me, “from whom much is given, much may be expected.” I’ve got to “give back” now. I’m awed by my role as I stand up in front of the class. Be good, Glenn. This is so important. Class is starting soon…

Written by Glenn Yeck | Comments Off on Teacher Responsibilities