Frederick Buechner once wrote or said, "Vocation is where your deep gladness meets the world's hunger." I credit Jaana, a fellow slicer, for allowing me the steal from her slice last October. I copied it from her blog as well as her link and created a draft which I have come back to several times over course of this the year. Read her amazing post here!
I've only meet Jaana through blogging as part of the Slice of Life writing community. She probably doesn't know about the impact or inspiration that I derived from her write. I kept coming back to that draft post all year. I finally found the words today that went well with her quote. I engage in a vocation that meets my students' hunger and feeds my gladness. It only took one of Oprah's writing exercises last weekend, pie graphing our life to help me uncover the connection. Trust me, I have graphed my life before, but this time was different. I discovered that I was pretty lucky; my pie pieces melded. My hobbies are directly connected to my health and occupation and friends. I don't feel torn. My biggest aha was that my occupation and my contribution to the world were married. I don't think many adults can say that, but in the teaching profession we can.
We need to remember it is each child's story and our story that matters especially when we are asked to crunch kid's data like they are dollars on a spreadsheet or when teachers's VAM scores are being crunched to calculate our value. There is no doubt in my mind that each teacher's contribution to student life cannot be quantified and reduced to a number. We might not see our contribution in the short-term or in the long-run, but in the end it the students matter most.