Teaching is an act of love and here is why.

This weekend and like many other teachers, I went to the supermarket to find some sweets to share with my students on Monday when Valentine’s Day is celebrated. As expected, almost all of the sweets had disappeared and as I searched the back of the shelves I thought that perhaps the vast majority of those sweets had been bought by other teachers like me, who wanted to bring a little love to their classes on Monday. So I wondered what other ways we show love for our students, what things do we do for them that we usually wouldn’t do for anyone else?

When I got home with the few sweets I could get, I asked in Facebook teacher groups, Twitter and Instagram for those things that they had done special for their students. The answers that I will share below are beautiful, emotional, inspiring and above all full of love. In a country where education is a political token and where some dedicate their lives to criticizing the work of teachers, it is even more significant that despite this, teachers carry tons of love every day to distribute among their students.

Happy Valentine’s Day folks! You have chosen the most important and significant profession among all, that of helping young people to maintain optimism and joy for life, for love.

Here are some of the most amazing answers!

Dari J

Sing and act, be goofy (I am the least goofy person ever!).

Lillian G

I taught two of them how to drive and took them on their driving test

Jaime D

Put up with defiance, active disobedience, sleeping in class, being messy, unfunny humor, body odor, messiness…. everything I was taught, followed and demanded of me by my parents and then me to my own kids NOT to do…

And then I learned to step back, take a breathe, and see each student individually.

Those things rarely happen now and if/when they do, it’s not a big deal…it’s a learning process.

Amanda L

Was a b*y Karen on the phone to Century Link to make them send a tech out because a kids’ internet wasn’t working and the company wasn’t doing anything about it and the parents didn’t speak English.

Rina M

Pay for professional private instrument & voice lessons.

Samantha B

Help apply for US Citizenship… 🥰❤ Including taking them there.

Adriana A

I hated English when I was at school (In the 70s in Mexico). I wanted to be a nurse so I went to nursing school . One of my teachers at the nursing school asked me if I could teach English at the school. My answer “yes”. Then I thought “What am I getting into I do not like English”. I was 17 years old. So, I created my classes the best way I could. From then my passion began teaching English then a couple years later Spanish. I had no guidance to teach my classes at the beginning. No books except what I had from high school (prepa). We did not use markers back then only chalk. Eventually I started taking workshops and certifications for teaching . It was hard because I was training to become a nurse and wanting to be a language teacher at the same time. Plus I was the same age as my students. I have been a dance teacher, a tour guide, fitness instructor to my language students.

Stacy S

Searched my FB forums for donated baby items for my student’s mother who was expecting. So many wonderful mothers donated… even found a crib for them.

Tara M

Be the first one someone told about their first period when it happened in their class.

Rhonda S

Picked up some dental retainers from the floor, wrapped them in tissue and placed them in a sandwich bag and emailed the class that the owner better come claim them before their parents find out, lol!! Kid showed up bright and early this morning😂🤣😂

Kristin M

Fundraised to help a student go on a school trip, once I found out she might have to drop due to financial issues. I told her I wouldn’t let that happen. She was going!

Jennifer J

Letting a student, her brother and mother live in a house i own to escape an abusive relationship and to help them get back on their feet. Taking in an 18 year old female student because their parent was being mentally and emotionally abusive. Driving a student to their week long college summer program because their parents did not have a reliable car and could not afford a rental. Spending numerous spring break vacations taking first generation juniors in high school to visit 9 college campuses on a road trip. All amazing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but definitely things I never thought I would do as a teacher when first starting out.

Susana A

Received donations then distributed 70 turkeys and drove through the worst part of Newark to deliver them to those with no transportation.

Monica B

Purchased and shipped a wheelchair to Guatemala for a student’s grandfather.

Liz McD

Adopt one. But it happened. He’s not a student anymore. He’s family.

Sunciree H

Quit my job at a very successful top 5 corporate America corporation. Accepted a position as a teacher with a 1/3 cut in my salary cut from my previous position.

Anna J. R

Bringing snacks so students would not be disturbed by growling stomach of those seated nearby. We had a rotating schedule so that lunch was not the same time everyday.

I just had trail mix in a plastic container. Students would hold out the hands if they wanted some. I’d walk up and down the aisles, tipping a tablespoon or two in each open hand. It worked!

Lora G

The same,as many teachers in our building do for our high school students. I Also have a pot of coffee going through out the day. Had a 14 yr old Guatemalan refugee live with us

Kate P

Having a drawer with bandaids, tampons and pads that any student (not just mine) can come get.

Karen R

Delivered Christmas presents anonymously, rang the doorbell where they were staying and ran away after a house fire just before Christmas took everything from my student and her younger siblings.

Kerrie M

Cleaned vomit out of their long hair.

Julissa C

Taking responsibility for a student whose parents were exploiting her. Having a student live in my house temporary after removing her from her household, buying groceries for a mother and her children who recently divorced and was left with nothing, b… See more

Hillary B

Spent the night with a student and his mother to help her with suicide watch while her husband was deployed.

Angela A

Advocating for a student with severe behavior issues in the classroom. His counselor responded saying “I’m so disgusted by that boy” and after that I too steps to get him a better fit, a different counselor. The new one created a behavior management plan, we worked together to implement it and the last thing I heard from the mom was that the student had been accepted into college. Fast forward 15 years, now Special Ed and behavior management is my favorite. Started with that student.

Janina H

Cook for them 😂. I love eating but I don’t enjoy cooking. Cooking for 45… what was I thinking? 😂😂😂 but they loved it and their smile was all I needed.

Tania G

Streamer / YouTuber and comedian 🤡.

Profe H

Buying Christmas presents for them, buying Thanksgiving dinner groceries for them, having clothes available in my classroom for someone if needed, buying them deodorant and feminine products, doing the Angel tree adopción thing for families who can’t afford Christmas in our school. So yeah these are very “basic” things that probably most teacher does

The last one pretty much summarizes what is really going on in our schools on a daily basis.  There were more answers but I wanted to share with you just a small sample of how we express our love for our profession and for our students.  Happy Valentine´s Day to all of you! Please share with your no World Language colleagues.


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2 Comments

  1. Estimado colega Diego:

    Esto que has publicado son actos de amor desinteresado que solo los maestros que llegamos a amar nuestra profesión y por ende nuestros estudiantes como hijos, a intuir sus tragedias, a decifrar sus miradas y actitudes… les tendemos la mano desinteresada que cambia su manera de ver la vida y su vida misma. Somos ese rayito de luz que ellos ansian porque, tristemente, muchas veces somos los únicos adultos en su vida en quienes confian.

    Gracias por compartir. Al igual que tú, no he encontrado muchos chocolates hoy…pero para mañana les tengo tarjetitas de gratitud que ellos escribirán a amigos, profesores, personal del colegio, entrenadores, entre otros.

    Por supuesto, algunos de mis estudiantes recibirán mis tarjetas de gratitud porque algunos de sus saludos, palabras cariñosas, abrazos, gestos, miradas de solidaridad y complicidad , regalitos han traído a mi vida grandes motivaciones y satisfaciones, alegrías infinitas, ganas de no tirar la toalla, … en los últimos dos años 🙂

    ¡Feliz día del amor y la amistad! a ti a tus estudiantes

    [cid:33c44d8b-ee5c-414b-ab73-646b51c52557]

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    Monica J. Espinoza

    Spanish Teacher

    AP Spanish Reader CB

    AP Master Teacher – Spanish

    World Languages Department Head

    Spanish Honor Society – Sponsor

    “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” (Patrick Lencioni)

    ________________________________

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