“Friendship is a relentless force. Family is a relentless force. Faith is a relentless force. The human spirit is relentless, and the human heart outlasts – and can defeat – even the most relentless force of all, which is time.” — Dean Koontz
A few quotes on teaching from You Look Like A Teacher, The Day Before 9/11, and The Rainy Season. You can read more Tucker Elliot quotes on Goodreads.
“In large part, we are teachers precisely because we remember what it was like to be a student. Someone inspired us. Someone influenced us. Or someone hurt us. And we’ve channeled that joy (or pain) into our own unique philosophies on life and learning and we’re always looking for an opportunity to share them—with each other, our students, parents, or in our communities.”
“The reality for teachers is we don’t know if we’ve been successful or not. It takes years to see how a kid turns out, and it’s impossible to know what role we’ve played, for better or worse. It’s why so many teachers burn out—our successes are limited and rarely celebrated, but our failures are always out there for everyone to see and judge.”
“The task of teaching has never been more complex and the expectations that burden teachers are carried out in antiquated systems that offer little support—and yet, teachers are finding success every day.”
“Teaching isn’t rocket science. It’s about being engaged, listening, paying attention. Despite conventional wisdom, you don’t need to talk a lot to teach well. You do need to care, though. Not so much about what people think of you or whether or not they like you, but about the kids and doing what’s best for them.”
“It’d be easy to blame everything on 9/11 or the wars that came after. It’s really about the choices we made. By necessity we adapt to the realities of the world we live in, but if we forget that how we live shapes and influences the world around us, then we’ve already lost.”
“It felt like we were reliving the first day of the school year, when students and teachers do the get-to-know-you dance—teachers tell students something about who they are, students pretend to care, and then vice-versa.”
“The look of a smug teacher is priceless.”
“Educators are in the news, too. Usually that’s bad. I had a favorite college professor. He used to tell us, ‘If you make CNN as a teacher, you’re probably going to jail.”
My memoir The Rainy Season is set to be released this fall by Black Mesa Publishing. Here’s a quick/first look at a scene in Indonesia that plays a pivotal role in the story. In this scene we had just left an orphanage in Bogor and were on the highway to Jakarta.
The Rainy Season
We rode in silence for the rest of the trip. Somewhere along the way Maya and Gita fell asleep. A large shopping center alongside the highway had “Indah” in its name. I thought, it’s got nothing on Chyka’s orphans. In the distance a train was heading south. I thought about the rooftop kids.
I felt helpless.
At last a highway sign indicated we should stay left for the airport or merge right for Jakarta. Far to our left I could see a commercial airliner on final approach to Soekarno-Hatta. Far to our right I could see the outline of tall city buildings. The imagery was hard to ignore. In the midst was an impoverished world filled with dangerous radicals. Some believed it was God’s will to crash airplanes into buildings. Some recruited children to self-detonate on buses and in coffee shops. It must be incredibly difficult to hold fast to hope when you live in such a world. It’s also hard to keep faith with humanity when religious ideology is used as an impetus for war. But I believe that for every war there is a hero … and for me, Jakarta will always be Indira’s city.
The traffic snarled and soon the streets became narrow and dark, almost sinister. Our green mini-bus made its way deep into the shadow of Central Jakarta, and I knew we were almost home.
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