What I Wish for You: wishes for teachers everywhere

Dedicated to teachers, new and seasoned, everywhere….

 What I Wish for You    

wishes for new teachers    

by Dawn Wink       

I wish for you to fall in love with some aspect of each student. Remember, it’s the students that are hardest to love, that need love the most. So if it’s to find the spirit, or essence, or spark, or whatever you call it that resonates for you, for you to connect with that place, even if only for a moment.

I wish for your perspective to see beyond the piles of perpetual paperwork that wear away at our energy, time, and empathy–and maintain your focus on the expansion of the human spirit, on social justice, and on caring. This keeps that perpetual paperwork in its proper paltry place.

I wish for you to be able to laugh about the classroom disasters and cry about some of the stories you’ll hear from your students. Your students—and the world—need both.

I wish for you to meet enough of the parents to remember that each student is somebody’s child. So when the mass of humanity in the room starts to blur into a single blob, those pinpricks of uniqueness shine through the haze—even on the worst of days.

I wish for you to remember everybody has bad days teaching sometimes, no matter how long they’ve been teaching and no matter how much it feels like it only happens to us. At the end of that day, allow yourself a few minutes to learn, then gently dust yourself off, make a cup of hot tea to drink in bed, and go to sleep knowing that, as Maya Angelou says, “You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better…you did better.” Tomorrow, you’ll do better.

I wish for you to daily weave something that you are absolutely passionate lose-track-of-time-and-your-surroundings about into your teaching. This is some of our most important work.

I wish for you to swear up one side and down the other as you prepare a lesson, that you’ll never never ever shoot-me-if-I-ever-agree-to-do-this again — only to realize after it’s over that the world is brighter, your energy is flowing, your spirits are high, and you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait to do it again!” And right before the next time, you’ll be swearing up one side and down the other that….

I wish for you to receive a gift from a parent, given with gratitude from the heart. “Thank you for taking care of my child.” Especially when you know its purchase was a sacrifice in humble circumstances, know you have done well and let this shared experience fill your heart.

I wish for you to think back on your day and know in your heart, that today you made a difference in a student’s life (perhaps more than one)….That today you brought beauty into a world desperate for it.

If wishes were stars, I’d wish for you to experience your students as a sky full of spirits.

Dawn Wink has worked as a World Learning/SIT Teacher Trainer since 2009. She received a BA in International Relations, an MA in Bilingual/Cross-cultural Leadership, and has lived in Mexico, Spain, and Germany. Co-author of the book, “Teaching Passionately: What’s Love Got To Do With It?”, her articles and essays about multicultural and multilingual education have appeared in numerous journals and books. She has 20 years teaching experience in multilingual settings, working with students ranging in age from kindergarten through adult. Dawn is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Visit her blog at http://dawnwink.wordpress.com/


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6 Responses to What I Wish for You: wishes for teachers everywhere

  1. Anna says:

    Dawn, that was lovely. I have said that to myself many times, “This kid is someone’s little darling.” Especially on days when he/she wasn’t being such a darling in class. Though school policies and regulations prevent me from doing all that I wish to for each student such measures also protect me from exhaustion in the bargain. I do try to keep in mind that teaching is not what people do when they have no other options, snarky pop “wisdom” notwithstanding. It is a profession for people who care more about people than things. Such care takes time and energy but the rewards are well worth it.

  2. Ron Bradley says:

    What a beautiful message, Dawn. This is the heart of what it means to be truly student-centered. All the mechanics in the world are worthless without love. Not only love for our students, but love for ourselves, not in an egotistical self-serving way, but in a appreciative, respectful way, as you hint at. This will allow us to be patient not only toward our students but toward ourselves too. Then we find the best way to meet our student’s and students’ needs.

  3. Dawn Wink says:

    Dear Anna,
    How beautifully you articulate this, “It is a profession for people who care more about people than things. Such care takes time and energy but the rewards are well worth it.” Even with all of the challenges and policies, it is caring for people. Teaching is rife with humanity, with all of our beauties and challenges!
    All my best,

  4. Dawn Wink says:

    Dear Ron,
    What an essential component of respecting our students you highlight here – that of loving ourselves. When I read this, I thought of something Jim Cummins once said, “How can we advocate for others, if we’re not willing to advocate for ourselves.” Teaching is such a giving profession that somehow teachers so often forget this, in my experience. Thank you for bringing to light such an essential aspect of the teaching journey.
    All my best,

  5. Roger Ramirez says:

    Thank you for such beautiful wishes Dawn! Huge hugs and lots of love from sunny Costa Rica!!