Teaching is a Teacher

Over my many years in the classroom, I developed patience. I saw over and over how things could evolve if I just left them alone, how an intractable student could mellow out (yeah, I’m in that generation) all on his/her own. I realized there’s just no way to force an outcome. This all happened without my even noticing it, believing I was, as my mom always said, “So impatient, Martha Ann! Learn a little patience!” Then one day one of my students said, “I don’t see how you Β can be so patient, Professor, I’d be, I don’t know. Apeshit. Sorry.”

“Ah, well, you guys have a hard job here. You’re doing things you never did before. You’re afraid you won’t succeed. There’s a lot of stuff you’re going through right now that I’m not. You just have to do it, and I have to help you.”

At that moment I realized that I’d become patient. When and how, I have no idea, but I’m glad.



30 thoughts on “Teaching is a Teacher

  1. It is interesting how the patience develops, isn’t it? I’ve found for myself that I am much better at being patient with others in my professional mode, while my patience with systems is limited and with the piddly shit in life is highly variable.

  2. Some people have patience in spades. Some don’t. I’ve always had patience. Of late I find I have to fight to be patient. Probably the pain cause I have far less patience when I’m hurting than normally. Comes and goes more than I’d like, that’s for sure.

  3. I remember someone asking me how I put up with all the slow, detailed work my job required … and that was when I also realize I had learned patience.

    But I don’t have patience with everything. I’m patient with details and complicated explanations. And with people, usually. Not so much with everything and if I’m not feeling well, I’m anything BUT patient!

    I was good with my students, for the brief 2 years I had them.

    • I’m not always patient with myself. With the hiking book, I was definitely NOT patient with myself. It seemed I’d NEVER get it (mostly) right. But I did. πŸ™‚

  4. Time does funny things when we age. Somehow the days seem much longer, but they pass much more quickly. To me, patience is a balance of these two — because the days pass faster, there is much more patience with the slower passage of time!

    • I was thinking about that the other day. We KNOW stuff is going to happen. I think when we’re younger and don’t know how stories turn out or even that they turn out, we’re more anxious about time passing.

    • I don’t know how old your son is, but I do know that the pressure on public school teachers from every direction these days is enough to wear them to the bone. Things changed toward the end of my career, too. A lot more BS from administration made it difficult for me to keep my focus where it was supposed to be — definitely tried my patience. πŸ™‚

  5. So VERY true. I’ve always been an impatient person, but children and dogs have taught me patience. It’s one of their greatest gifts to me. I only regret it didn’t have to come the hard way. Better late than never.

    • Dogs are good teachers of patience and so many other things like forgiveness, ferocity, faith, joy… I wouldn’t be who I am not without all the dogs who’ve come along to teach me. ❀

  6. I’ve realized that over the years, I’ve also really learned to be patient with myself.

    It doesn’t have to be perfect. It will get done… or it won’t and that’s ok.

  7. I’m not sure where it comes from, but I’m truly blessed to possess this gift. Patience used to come and go very quickly, but now I understand it more and it tends to stick with me. I’ve only been in the classroom for three years now, and I’ve learned something new every single day. I’m with twelve and thirteen years olds, (probably the most difficult age group), teaching mathematics, (probably the least liked subject). Creating a desire for them to have for learning is a skill that changes almost each day. I have to grasp their attention for at least twenty to thirty minutes, even through the friendship drama, family troubles, social pressure, mental confusion, and emotional growth that they’re buried in-between.

    Thank you for all that you do and have done for the children of the future!

    • Thank YOU ❀️! I’m out of the trenches now but truly it makes me so happy to hear from a young teacher who loves what their doing and is engaged in the beautiful work.

  8. It’s inspiring to hear from a teacher who has been there and done that. πŸ™‚ I love to take the advice of other teachers who have been doing their job for a lot longer than I have.

    • ❀ For 33 of the 38 years I taught I woke up every morning happy to go to school. It wasn't work. The last five years, for various reasons, it turned into a job. But that's when you know you need to move aside. As one of my colleagues (an inspiring and inspired teacher) used to say before I went into class each morning, "Do good work in there."

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