Love for Teaching and Online Therapy
Teachers and those who deliver therapy, whether face to face or online therapy, amidst their many challenges, need to remember how to love what they do. That love will have profound consequences on their students’ experience. The critical question is, how can they develop a love of teaching and providing online therapy that lasts?
1. You Will Enjoy Being in a Lifelong Growth Mode
Teachers and therapists have been heard to say, “I love to learn, and my students teach me something new every day.” Why else might you want to become a teacher or provide online therapy? Because you get to spend your career cultivating a love of learning in your students.
When it comes to teaching and online therapy, you must know what to teach and be skillful in your methodology. So if you enjoy learning new information or techniques, you’ll love creating new lesson plans or preparing for your online therapy sessions.
The capacity to make lessons and online therapy sessions, fun and stimulating for students is the hallmark of excellent teachers and therapists. You’ll also be imparting upon the students this passion, which will enhance their education and therapy.
2. You Will Have a Lifelong Impact
By becoming a teacher or therapist, you will be leaving a lasting legacy in the world by providing love, support, and assistance to children. You are providing them with the requisite tools to be happy and lead productive lives.
As retired teacher Jeaninne Escallier Kato said, “Great teachers recognize that what they do is simply who they are. They understand that teaching is an extension of who they were meant to be.”
“I love teaching because teaching allows me to give children the experience of someone who gets them and accepts them for who they are, without making them bad or wrong. So often kids don’t have that person in their life, especially if they’re problem kids. And I feel that it’s an honor to be that person,” says Rebecah Freeling, an early childhood education director.
There’s no denying the immense satisfaction and fulfillment that teachers and therapists experience. Teaching and therapy are critical and respected professions. Even considering all of the challenges in both the classroom teaching and online therapy sessions, many teachers and therapists attest that it’s all worth it to see the difference they’re making in their students. Touching so many lives is immensely gratifying.
Love for the Children
Many ask, “What is the fundamental goal of K-12 education?” The answer heard in most quarters is that the collective purpose is “college and career readiness.” And while it is undeniable that we want our students to be prepared for higher education, there is perhaps an even more important objective, and that is love.
It is quite simple. Students, like the rest of us, want to be in those places where they are valued, and perhaps even cherished. A teacher in the Boston area recently reached out to some of her first students. They were middle school students the teacher had taught during her early years of teaching, who were now young adults in their twenties. She wanted to hear their perspective of how important love is in the classroom.
One of them, an artist and model based in the New York City area, told her, “I could always tell when a teacher saw me as a human to be invested in …who saw me as an individual. There are maybe three teachers in my life who have stood out to me as incredible influences on the person I am today. They made me feel understood and listened to. They made me feel like my life mattered.”
“When someone invests in you in that way, you want to make them proud. But beyond that, when you feel that someone truly believes in your potential, you then begin to have more confidence in yourself. It encouraged me to push to keep going when I wanted to give up on myself.”
When children and teenagers feel loved, they become open to joy. Joy can’t be easily measured. And it often stands at the other end of the spectrum from that cherished educational value of “rigor.” Yet it is often joy that propels students to realize their full potential to push themselves to achieve what they otherwise thought was impossible.
Love Allows a Growth Mindset to Flourish
While teaching and modeling a growth mindset in classrooms is undoubtedly necessary, it often isn’t enough. Aside from being primed to grow, children and teenagers need to feel safe making mistakes. This is true where it’s an error in computing a math problem, or losing self-control and acting disrespectfully.
But there are times when teachers and therapists, in their noble efforts to validate mistakes, inadvertently convey high expectations outside the student’s reach. To send the crucial message of accountability, there needs to be a background of love and acceptance. When genuine care and concern are felt by the student, those difficult messages are received differently.
Choose to Love Teaching and Delivering Therapy
Perhaps what is most absent from the critical conversation about education reform is the non-negotiable focus on the love for the children and the passion for teaching itself. It is important to remember that love is not just a feeling; it’s a decision.
There will always be difficult days and months, and sometimes even entire school years that don’t work out as planned. It is in those challenging times that it is necessary to take a step back, take several deep breaths, and love teaching and therapy anyway.
People are not attracted to teaching and therapy for financial remuneration, respect, or the recognition that is so richly deserved. Teachers and therapists do what they do because they love to help their students and want to make meaningful contributions to their lives.
Don’t ever forget, if you know in your heart that you love to teach or deliver online therapy, not to give it up. Your students, your fellow teachers and therapists, and your communities need you now, more than ever. The love you have for what you do is irreplaceable.