2008 UF COE Writing Contest Entry
(This is one of 27 entries submitted in the College's recent writing contest on the topic of "What's Good in Education?". Visit the Writing Contest home page for links to other entries, including the winner.)
What's Good in Education?
When children or their parents say 'thank you'
By ELISABETH HARVIN
BAE 'OS in elementary education; MAE '09 student in literacy; intern at Alachua Elementary School
"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove.. .But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."
When you think of educators, guidance counselors, specialist and resource teachers, and administrators, qualities such as intelligent, patient, dedicated, honest, motivating, humorous, and optimistic can cross your mind. Often when discussing education, the words, imparting knowledge, positive role models, or teaching and learning specific concepts may come to mind. However, the field of education is more profound than we often realize and encompasses more than teaching reading, writing, and mathematics. Educators are student-strengtheners, potential-pushers, wisdom-wanters, love-laborers, compassionate caregivers, intricate-inspirers, and our favorite friends.
When entering the education profession, teachers, counselors, and administrators not only apply to teach the curriculum, but they apply to become psychologists, philosophers, and advocators for every child that walks through their classroom door. What other professional can claim they have a more fulfilling career?
Education is more than what occurs in school. Education happens when an infant takes their first step, writes his first words, rides a bicycle for the first time, performs in her first school recital, attends senior prom, or buys his first car. As educators we embrace and triumph in these moments that are so special to our students and their families. Teachers and administrators are the professionals who watch children grow and learn over the years. We are the ones blessed, when we receive the phone call, e-mail, or greeting at a local grocery store when a child or
their parent tells us, thank you. Thank you for choosing this career path, thank you for taking extra time out of your day to work with my son or daughter, thank you for being a special person in my child's life.
Educators are taught to laugh, live, learn and love every moment of their teaching career. Every day is a day filled with learning something new, and interacting with some of the most precious creatures gracing the Earth.
What's good in education is that point in a child's life when they look back and say that a teacher made a difference in their life. So the next time someone questions, "What's so good about education?" I'll pull out my countless drawings, dug-out-of-the-playground-dirt flowers and weeds, candy, pictures, and simple notes that students present to me, displaying their affection and appreciation for the education and educator in their lives.
Back to Writing Contest Home