I love teaching because it is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I love teaching because it breaks my heart and makes me cry. I love teaching because it makes me so happy I feel like I swallowed a helium balloon on those days when a student owns his or her own power of expression. I love teaching because it is the only job I’ve ever had that hugs me back, that argues with me, that makes me feel like the one candle I can light in my little corner dispels a bit of darkness in the world. I love teaching because it calls on me to be smarter and braver than I ever want to be.

Yes, it’s hard. But then what do you ever commit to that isn’t hard? Yes, it can make you feel like you’re burnt to a crisp, but then isn’t that what happens when you really care? There’s a passage from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King that I turn to when I feel like I can’t gin myself up for another day:

The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.

And that’s one of the best things about being a teacher – you get to be a little bit smarter every day and learn something new every day. There is magic in that.

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  1. I saw you on CBS news and I want you to know I think what you do is wonderful. I have been teaching dance for over 30 years. I love working with kids and seeing how the arts help them feel good about themselves. I have been unable to teach/work for 3 years but I am back. I decided to approach teaching the arts in a different way and be independent. It was great to see you and how you teach, because your approach is the way I want to incorporate in my program. I am in the beginning stages and calling it Pineapple Productions. I feel and see the positive side of kids and can’t wait to get started. Seeing you has inspired me even more. Congratulations!! Deborah Sundes

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