By Brett R. Boggs
Superintendent of Schools
Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation


The Heart of a Teacher

This year’s monthly Valley Insight articles will focus on the people of the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation as we celebrate the activities and accomplishments of our students, staff, parents, and the community. People are the most important part of any organization and we plan to share our “people stories” with you.

Why do teachers teach? I asked Tippecanoe Valley’s teachers to share their heart in responding to this question and received several touching responses. I wish I could share them all, but here are two. They provide true insight into “The Heart of a Teacher”.

“For me, the greatest joy of teaching is having great purpose in what I do every day.  The work of a good teacher is immeasurable in the lives of students, families, and colleagues. It truly can touch eternity.  We have an opportunity each day to create culture and to influence the thinking and the character of so many around us.  This makes teaching a great privilege and a great responsibility.  As I age and am more and more equipped to teach, my passion grows for the magic that happens daily in a classroom and in the minds and hearts of the students.  I am excited every day, not only about the content I bring to them, but about helping them grow as thinkers, servants, leaders, and world citizens of character.  But as we serve, we can never really give more than we receive.  Teaching and being in the presence of these amazing students keeps me young and gives me necessary and grand hope for the future.  Teaching is a calling and a blessing hard to define or articulate.  I love what Penny Kittle says about the profession in her 2005 book, The Greatest Catch: A Life in Teaching: “Teaching is about honor and goodness and mercy.  It really is.  And no one will be watching you most of the time.  You either live up to the calling of this profession, or you don’t, and most likely no one will ever know but you.”  When my career in teaching ends, if it ends, I want to say I lived up to a noble calling; I made a difference.” (Lois Buss – Language Arts Teacher – Tippecanoe Valley High School)

“I became a teacher because of the teachers I had while attending Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. We have some of the most caring teachers around and really strive to do what is best for our students.  It’s because of those teachers, which inspired me, that lead me to this career path.  Teaching gives me so many joys in life both inside and outside the classroom. I get to help students strive for their dreams and see the joy on their face when they accomplish something. They are so proud, especially my special education students, there’s nothing better than seeing how happy they are because of the little things in life.  It’s because of their joy and them being successful I know I’m doing my job right. The students are what make it worth coming to work every day. They simply make my job enjoyable and I couldn’t have been happier with my career choice.  I’m happy to be a part of a school system that had a great impact on me and my education! (Melody Rockhill – Special Education Teacher – Akron Elementary School).

Every teacher has their own unique reasons why they chose teaching as a career. The one thing they have in common, though, is a calling to inspire and make a difference in the lives of the children they teach. That’s “The Heart of a Teacher”.