We have the opportunity of working with hundreds of teachers every year and from our unique vantage point, traveling from school to school every week offering our dance programs, this we share:
We have a lot, we mean A LOT, of very dedicated teachers in our Canadian schools and not many people get the opportunity to witness all they do in their day’s work.
Not only are these teachers educating our children about various curriculum subjects; they also help build character, develop self-esteem, promote acceptance and understanding of differences, facilitate cooperation, responsibility and respect. And we all know the world always needs more responsible, socially conscious and respectful citizens.
Teachers create learning environments where students develop curiosity, the desire and the love to learn. Teachers are great at providing just the right amount of difficulty and challenge at the same time as ensuring that the classroom is a safe place where they can grow through trying, exploring, failing and succeeding.
If you were to follow teachers around during their day, you would have to get your sneakers on! They spend a good portion of the day on their feet, on hard tile floors. They run from one end of the school to the other several times a day, ensuring all gets done and all their students are accounted for.
You don’t often see teachers “on a break”. At recesses and lunch or during their prep time, you can find teachers resolving issues, discussing with other staff members how to better help particular students, preparing their teaching materials, communicating with a parent, marking papers, preparing report card comments, and coaching sport practices and events. They are almost always running to and from somewhere and throughout all of this, they remain calm and truly professional. And, if they take a moment to actually sit down, they are often thinking about what they need to get done before the next bell rings. It is a known fact that teachers barely take the time to go to the washroom!
Teachers are a resourceful bunch constantly adapting and maneuvering through the various moving parts. Sometimes their students are sick and absent, or aren’t feeling well, or are going through troubles with their friends or something difficult at home, or would rather play than do their school work, or simply ate sugar and are just too excited, and the list goes on and on…. But most of the time in a classroom, a day comprises of any variation of the above scenarios; teachers are just good at rolling with it!
And there can be so many different class dynamics, even within a same school. Sometimes, teachers have dream classes where they can easily and fluidly navigate the ship of instruction. At other times, they find themselves with a more challenging group of students where their available patience, perseverance, energy and understanding are sometimes drained. We must not forget that there are always children who need more support than what is currently available and possible. Regardless of the teaching context they find themselves in, teachers are simply expected to make it work, sometimes in some pretty magical and spectacular ways.
So here’s to you, fellow school teachers, for all the work that you do! You deserve so much more recognition for educating our children. We take this opportunity to thank you. It is an honor to be working with so many of you and we look forward to collaborating with you and bringing dance, music, movement, culture and fun to your students!
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