Raise your hand if you’ve heard the narrative before on how we are all so fortunate to be called to a profession to make such a tremendous impact on the lives of children. My hand is up. Heck, I’ve probably even mistakenly said similar things myself as an administrator. Here is the deal though, teaching is a profession. Can we be called to it? Yes. Do we have to be? No. Can we come to our classroom or our school each day, not loving what we do while at the same time, being amazing at how we do our job? One hundred percent.
If you’re anything like me, this sort of plays with your mind and maybe preconceived notions. What if instead I was able to share how this rhetoric that has been given to us over the years is actually not reality. We can absolutely not love teaching but still be a highly effective teacher.
To help me out, I’ve invited Elizabeth Dampf onto Anchored in Education today. Elizabeth recently published an article with ASCD in their EL magazine titled “It’s About Skillsets and Support, not Sainthood.” After an overwhelmingly positive response, she wrote a follow up article for ASCD’s blog titled “Let’s Stop Expecting Teachers to Love the Job.” I read both and realized, we need to extend this conversation.
Elizabeth Dampf is the director of professional learning at Round Lake Area Schools 116 in the Chicagoland area. She holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master’s in School Improvement Leadership from Olivet Nazarene. She has served as a school administrator for nine years.