The HeArt of Teaching


I’ll admit it.  I am teary and heart touched, having just read a report of an Ohio kindergarten teacher, Wendy Killian, who recently gave a kidney to her former student, Nicole Miller, now 8. My heart is touched, of course, because the act is beautiful and generous, and the potential ramifications for the young girl are profound.  But that’s not what touches me most deeply.  It is instead the deep assurance I feel that the heart of Wendy Killian is the heart of teachers everywhere.

Certainly, teachers are not regularly asked to give of themselves in quite such a concrete and life-altering way, and such a requirement is not attached to the credential.  But the place from which this gift comes, I think is attached to the calling—the calling to teach.

We who educate know the depth of work required to bring learning to our many students. We know the personal sacrifice of time and resources.  We know that while others may think our day ends at 3 PM, our students and their learning are on our minds around the clock, seven days a week.  We do it because we love the kids.  It’s pure and simple.  We want them to have the best that life can offer.  We want them to grow and learn to their potentials.  And more than anything, we want them to be happy.

We’ll do whatever it takes to guide them, help them, support them—teach them.

Ms. Killian, kindergarten teacher, I am moved and touched by your gift.  But one thing I am not is surprised.

You are a teacher after all.

Your Turn!
Because you are a teacher, it probably isn’t in you to sing your own praises!  But will you share with us about a colleague or teacher friend you know and how she or he demonstrates the “HeArt of Teaching”? Just post in the reply section here.


Author bio

Dona Herweck Rice

Dona Herweck Rice, Former Editor-in-Chief for TCM

Dona Herweck Rice, former editor-in-chief for Teacher Created Materials, currently serves as an educational consultant in the areas of writing, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for children. Dona has extensive teaching experience and has authored single titles for the education market, for grades Pre•K –12 across all content areas, including language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, and the creative arts, including many titles in the TIME For Kids Nonfiction Readers, Science Readers, Reader's Theater, and Early Childhood Themes lines.