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Erin Stout




Center Grove Middle School Central


18 Years of Teaching; 12 Years at Center Grove 

What teaching means to me.......

To me, teaching is important because it is so much more than the title. Teaching is so much more than instilling knowledge and skills into students. Teaching is truly a way of life. Teaching is certainly all about learning, but a great deal of the learning happens for the teacher. Teachers learn to adapt their instruction to fit the needs of each individual student. Teachers learn about their students’ lives, finding out what makes them “tick” and using those passions/interests to drive their instruction. Teachers learn about what happens with their students in the many hours they spend away from school. Teachers celebrate their students when they make the soccer team, or when they finally conquer the next level on Fortnite, or when they find out that their parent’s most recent scan was clear. Teachers comfort their students when they find out their parents are splitting up, or when their favorite pet has passed away, or when they had an upsetting argument with their best friend. Teachers attend sports events, music concerts, plays and robotics competitions to support their students when they step outside of their comfort zones (or when they are smack dab in the middle of their comfort zones and deserve to showcase their many talents outside of the academic world.) Teachers feed their students when they are hungry, find clothing for them when they outgrow their own, and teach them how to clean under their fingernails. Teachers forgive students when they lash out, and love them a little more on the bad days. Teachers learn to notice when their students are “off”, and they reach out to families and establish a way to work together to support the student, no matter what it takes. Teachers realize that it takes a village to support a child, and that sometimes they are the most important person in a child’s life, and it is, therefore, their duty to make sure the student has all of the resources available to provide for their well-being. Teachers learn that having fellow teachers who will laugh, cry, worry and celebrate with them is absolutely essential. Teachers appreciate and respect colleagues for choosing the same passion, which is guiding students to be well-rounded, happy, successful individuals who will grow up to be inspiring and contributing members of society. If they are lucky, as I am, teachers learn from other teachers and seek out their advice as much as possible because the perspective and insight from others is vital to the village that students depend on for support and success. Teaching is important because teaching is a way of life, not an occupation, and this way of life affects so many.