I had an interesting conversation today with a teacher as I was giving her a flu shot. When I asked her what grade she taught, she said she taught grade two and went on to tell me that she felt lucky everyday to come to work.
How often do you hear that?
She told me that she really loves her students, but went on to say that maybe she cares too much, becomes too attached to her students and maybe that wasn’t such a good thing.
I told her I actually thought the opposite was true.
The more you care about those you serve, the more you know them, the better you are able to teach them. When a child feels that you actually care about them, can depend on a connection, they are more apt to listen, be more open to taking risks in their learning and stretch to meet expectations.
For me, it’s the patients for whom I’ve stayed up late at night researching drug therapies for, those I’ve called to see how their chemo is going, how their son’s depression is, and those that I’ve checked on by email when I am away; the connections I have with those patients make me a better practitioner. They remind me that the better I get to know a patient, the more I know about their family, what matters to them, how they feel about their health and other matters in their life, the better able I am to advise them, help them make decisions regarding their therapy and teach them how to manage their illnesses and disease.
If you love what you are doing, ultimately you are happier. If you are happy in your life’s work, whether it’s education, health care or other pursuits, you will do a better job.
As that teacher walked back to her classroom I thought, “That’s the kind of teacher I wish I would’ve had as a child.”