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Jeanne Schwartz

Jeanne Schwartz

7th Grade,  English/Language Arts
30 years of experience

Excerpt from Teacher of the Year application

To me, teaching is important because:
To me, teaching is important because it is an inherently gratifying life path. What other profession maps out daily opportunities to inspire wonder, foster creativity, create laughter, provoke thought, build relationships, facilitate discussions, and model empathy, fairness, and respect? Not many. Yes, teaching is important because the value of the young people we interact with each day is so substantial. They are worth it!          

Regrettably, we cannot deny the other side of the “teaching” story: apathy, standardized testing, over-crowded classrooms, language barriers, competition with Youtube, Instagram, Twitter (all which could be obsolete at the time of this reading!), budget cuts, teacher and administrator turn over, and the list goes on, the fact is that one-half of new teachers will leave the profession within their first five years. Why is teaching so important? It is important because teachers are the most significant factor in building student capacity and affecting student learning and attitudes about school. Those who embark on the journey must understand that effective teaching is a complex blend of art and science. Teaching is a balance of the heart and the brain, of having knowledge and of facilitating knowledge, of knowing one’s students and of knowing the best ways to reach them. Those who can maneuver between both dimensions “get it”. Teaching is important because our students deserve teachers who “get it”. They want teachers who will take the time to learn who they are before they try to teach them anything. Those teachers are out there, and I aspire to be one of them, understanding that I have goals and expectations placed upon my students and me, but also knowing that I can reach those goals in any number of ways. That is my challenge.           

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. – John Steinbeck

In the end, teaching is all about the kids. Teaching is important because of the countless individuals we support as they shape their own futures. If we have done our jobs well, they will not need us anymore. They will have the tools to be successful on their own expeditions, they will know what questions to ask, and they will have the problem-solving skills to answer them. in our profession, we know the number of students we have had, but we never really know how many lives we have changed. We are okay with that teaching is important because we have had the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on another person’s journey. I do not think I could have chosen a greater path…the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession. - John Wooden