You are too smart not to be a teacher

Dear Maggie:

Today you begin your first head teaching position.

We could not be more proud that this is how you chose to share your gifts with the world. You are intelligent, passionate, intuitive, insightful and indefatigable, and you will find a way to be exactly what each and every one of your 28 students needs at this point in their lives. They will begin to write their own story.

Launching your teaching career is the culmination of a journey you have been on for 16 years. You could have chosen any career you wished to pursue, but you never wavered from the path that led you here.

As a teenager, you coaxed reluctant special needs youngsters onto a soccer field, altered the destiny of a 5yo by getting him to speak outside his home for the first time, and took over lesson planning for an inner-city summer school program when the head teacher was not meeting students’ needs. The success you enjoyed in each case happened only because you found the resolve to overcome substantial challenges.

Then came the “naysayers.” In high school, many of your classmates, and some adults, said you were “too smart to become a teacher.” As you proceeded through college, many veteran teachers forced on you unsolicited advice to consider an alternative career path, because “it’s tough to be a teacher these days.” Each time you heard this, you involuntarily bunched your fists and struggled to suppress what you really wanted to say. They didn’t understand that teaching children is not a job for you; it is a calling.

It has never been easy to be a teacher. From the Great Depression to the years of World War II, to segregation battles, to the decline of parenting, to epidemic drug use moving from the cities to the heartland, to the current politically-fueled testing obsession, teachers have always encountered the most difficult problems of our society, visited upon its most innocent members. The school at which you chose to teach is not shielded from this. This creates a tremendous opportunity to profoundly impact young lives.

This is why we’re sending one of the very best.

You see, Maggie, you are too smart to be anything other than a teacher.


Dad and Mom


The author recently published Choose2Matter: An Online Course. It helps create a culture in which everyone knows they matter and can change the world. This addresses the root cause of so many social ills, and student-centered learning becomes a compassion-based calling. Click here to learn more and read powerful testimonials about Choose2Matter and compelling research on the power of mattering. Also, watch the launch video, below:

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