Teaching is a Mirror

Mirror Play
CC licensed Flickr photo by sanfranannie

There are so many wonderful things about teaching. This is one of them.

Teaching is a gift because it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own life in a much more informed way. Think about it, you’re actually doing informal and formal research about real, living, breathing people every single day. We get to influence and learn from such an array of the social fabric. Immigrants, the upper class, ghettoized communities, homogenous, heterogeneous, dominant culture, subaltern, soccer-loving, basketball-obsessed, religious, secular, tech-crazy, antiquated, library-goers, drug problems, middle-class, disabled, mentally ill, artists, athletes. Furthermore, you actually have the ear of many of these people. You can actually effect them, for better or for worse.

If you then teach as though your existence is based strictly on constant learning, the privilege becomes overwhelmingly evident.



  1. What a great way to look at teaching! I didn’t think of it that way! Because I teach Special Ed. my classes are even more diversified and include sectors that would never study together in a “normal” situation (different religions, orthodox with secular, etc).
    Great Post!

  2. It’s very refreshing to read your perspective on the teaching profession. Sometimes it can easy to get caught up in the ‘bubble’ of teaching and the enormous responsibility/pressure that we have but when you take a step out of the bubble and really view the profession from the lens that you described, it’s pretty cool.

  3. Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I am an Elementary Education major. This post is interesting; there are so many different kinds of people that you can affect as a teacher. I have never thought about all the different types of people that get affected by teachers. But you are right; the people can affect you as a teacher and person also. Everyone is constantly learning from one another. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks!

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