When we first begin this profession, a noble profession I might add, many of us say we want to teach because we want to make a difference. We want to make a difference in the individual lives of our students, we want to make a difference for our communities, we want to make a difference for the world. A noble intention.
With time, I believe our why becomes a little more nuanced and we begin to find our own specific passions and reasons for teaching kids. Some of those reasons arise from our own experiences as kids. Some of those reasons are directly related to people who made a difference in our lives. And many of those reasons grow from our very real experiences with the kids we have taught. The truth often is that the kids teach us more than we teach them. And with time I believe they teach us why we teach.
A decade or so ago I was asked to articulate my dream for what I do. The result was, “that I want all HSD students to love learning”. I really truly believe that when we can get kids to love learning they will learn. It is as simple as that. And it is as complicated as that. But it is my why.
The HSD mission is to be a student centred school division striving for excellence while developing skills and promoting values for a productive and wholesome life. That is a big mission and a daunting challenge! It reminds us that we are all about the kids, and not just so that they can make a good living and contribute economically, but also so that they will be good people who will be good friends and good family members and good community members.
A few years ago we conducted the Our Kid project. We asked over seventy different groupings of people what values, dispositions, skills and knowledge they would expect out of a Hanover graduate. All of those answers were best summarized by our eight competencies; character, literate, citizen, collaborator, creative, learner, critical thinker, and communicator. These competencies have been gathered together into our Deeper Learning plan which is the divisional answer to why we teach.
Why do you teach? I challenge each of you to take some time to think on the answer to that question for yourselves. It can only make us more purposeful and more effective in our work. It can only help our kids learn.
Thank you for teaching our kids!