I talked to my daughter Emily last evening. She is teaching in a Montessori school in Mexico City. It is her first year teaching and it is rough.
She enjoys the work–it feels like her life’s work–but it is very hard. I have never known a first-year teacher who did not feel that way. Her mother knew that experience.
Teachers are trained, but it is not until they get in the classroom–alone with 20-30 or more students–that they develop the mettle to manage it all and actually help students grow. Teachers, like other leaders, are called upon to be both the center of the life of the group and agents who get out of the way so that others can grow.
It is a balancing act–to be center without being the star (or at least the only star). What a good teacher works for is to assist in the creation of an entire galaxy of stars–people who are claiming their God-given potential.
I am proud of Emily. She knows why she is in the classroom, and she is unafraid of the hard work to excel in her calling.
She is changing–not her core values, but how she relates to the students–recreating herself to be what is needed for her students. She is a leader. Leaders recreate themselves to be what the people they serve need.
I like to think she learned a little of that from her old man. I know he is still changing.