Truly committed…even on bad days….

| May 1, 2011

Yesterday I spoke with a friend of mine who has committed her life to public health. She serves poor, mostly minority teenagers and young adults in Harlem who do not have health insurance.  She complained that too many people on her job do not care about the actual young people they were helping. The manner in which many of her co-workers treated  clients,  nasty comments said about patients behind their back, and a general disdain for the work seemed readily apparent for my friend.  She left me with this point; ” Public health is truly about serving people. If you are not committed to serve from the outset, then you shouldn’t be there.”

Teaching is similar, in some respects to public health in the sense that what we do is, on some level, is selfless.  A truly committed teacher is one who goes out of her/his way to truly engage and inspire his/her students. What struck me was that when teachers are NOT vested in their craft, I think its evident not only to co-workers, but to the students themselves!  I had an 11th grade teacher once say “kids know bulls**t….they can smell it a mile away!”  As a music educator, I am particularly hard on myself on days when I don’t feel like teaching or engaging with students who I deal with. I suppose in moments like that, I’ve got to recall that I am human and such things happen. Making sure that keep my own energy up is so so important to ensuring a great experience for the kids.