Every Moment is A Gift: A Quick List of the Gifts of A Classroom

I recently found out that I am not going to be able to return to coaching the boys JV Soccer team in the fall at the school I was coaching at.  I suppose I could rail against the decision the school made, but that just isn’t me at this point.  Years ago I would have probably lashed out, but at this point I am sad and will miss my chance to work with the youth that I had built a relationship with.  But it has made me come to a significant realization:  Every moment we share with our students or athletes is a gift.  



"Every moment we share with our students or athletes is a gift."

This post is going to be rather short for me, but every once in a while I like to write out some lists.  After some reflection below are ten gifts that we received from teaching.  

1.        The relationship:  Memories that are significant are created when we as human beings are around other humans to share, love, laugh, and live life together.  The classroom is a place where we come together daily and share for eight hours a day.  By the end of the year memories will be attached to the space we call the classroom.  Focus on building good ones and you will end up with a whole bunch.

2.       Being on the soccer field or the classroom is where we as educators do our work.  Everyday students need to be educated and to grow as a person.  The environment needs to have structure, love, and be safe.  Strive to make sure everyone is respected and most will want to return even after they are gone.  This includes the teacher.  You are more likely to want to return if you have good experiences associated with the space you are in every day. 

3.       The colleagues in your building are people who have life experiences and can help you in so many ways besides just the job.  The friendships you cultivate and the respect you earn from your peers will help you grow as a person.  So many other educators have helped me grow while on the job and I am grateful for them.  

4.       When students learn a new concept those moments are precious.  When their eyes light up and they understand there is nothing more rewarding.  Who else has the ability to see that every day?

5.       Students and teacher climb mountains together.  Remember when you a student and the project seemed impossible or the tasks were just too darn hard for you?  I know I do.  I had teachers who helped me climb the mountain.  So today I think about helping my students climb the mountain together.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there all that matters is you make it.  Students don’t realize how happy we are when we all make it to the top of the mountain, even if it takes the whole school year.  


"Memories that are significant are created when we as human beings are around other humans to share, love, laugh, and live life together."

6.       The smiles.  All the smiles and laughter.  Each one is precious.  Some people work in environments that crush the spirit.  Teachers build people spirts up.  I will never forget the laughter from all the aspects of my jobs.

7.       The meals we all share.  I have broken bread with so many different students it is crazy.  We have had many conversations over these meals.  Some include behavior and lunch detentions while others included students just needing a place to chill for a while during lunch.  Others have been at an athlete’s house as they ate a team dinner where I talked with parents or athletes about a myriad of things.  I would have never met any of these people if I had not been a teacher.  That is truly something I cherish. 

8.  The ability to help someone process through their life.  Many times teachers act as many other things.  I have had students ask me how to approach a girl or boy. Or how to deal with a problem them are having in a personal relationship.  Helping people grow and not be paralyzed by fear is something I love about my job. 

9.  The moments of goofiness.  We all have them.  We spend around 180 days with students every year and we get to have goofy moments with them that brings joy into my heart.  These moments are then connected to number 6 and the smiles that come with them.  

"The trust between teacher and student, mentee and mentor, and athlete and coach is nothing short of amazing."

10.  The trust between teacher and student, mentee and mentor, and athlete and coach is nothing short of amazing.  Each person puts their own trust into each other and that is what allows each party to grow.   Without trust it is very hard for someone to accept what you are telling them.  It is a huge responsibility, but in the end it is one of the greatest parts about being a teacher.  

What about the rest of you?  Do you have any gifts that you are thankful for in the classroom or on the field?  Would love to hear about them in the comments below. 

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