In a time when one can find a study to prove just about anything, it is not surprising to see studies that focus on white-collar worker burnout and job dissatisfaction. We can also find studies about teachers and job dissatisfaction. We cannot take for granted that the people who work with children love their work and love their students.
It's also easy to find studies and reports about people who fear or dislike teenagers and “normal” teenage behavior. It is not uncommon for Middle School and Upper School teachers to hear someone say, "I do not know how you handle being with tweens and teens all day!"
During September, I met individually with each of the Upper School teachers and staff at Shorecrest. If I were to make a Wordle from those conversations, the phrase, “Love being with the students in the classroom,” would be dead center and in the largest block letters. I do not think the faculty I met with had agreed in advance on saying the same thing to me. I am not surprised by the response, but I have to admit it was gratifying to hear it over and over. Regardless of how tired the teacher was from a full day of teaching, coaching, mentoring, tutoring, grading, planning and meeting, they shared that the meaningfulness of their work comes from being with students.
Experienced teachers know that there are students who are begrudgingly taking a class. Internal and external requirements of a college preparatory curriculum sometimes leads to requiring students to take courses they might better appreciate in a decade or two. We have all probably been there. From time to time one or more of those students will share with a teacher that in spite of the initial lack of interest, the teacher and class have caused an awakening and a new interest. Those are precious moments for teachers. The student's struggle with a subject and subsequent breakthrough experience is just as meaningful to the teacher as it is to the student.
Our students, their families, and this headmaster are fortunate to be at a school where teachers so universally care about their students.
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