I am a teacher.

As part of our contributors’ bios, we asked them to tell us why teaching is a joy to them. Here is what Bonnie Jack says about being a teacher, and what she loves about it. You can also read this on her bio, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it!

I started teaching piano 15 years ago, when I was 15 years old. I was excited about new books and notepads, studio policies and spring recitals. But I was inexperienced, and not a great teacher. Not a single one of my original students loved to practice, and not a single one progressed very far under my tutelage. And yet, I will never forget the moment, many years later, when my own nephew introduced me at his wedding–not as his aunt, but as his piano teacher. My teaching technique may have been weak, but I still left a mark in the lives of those students.

I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve had some great mentors, and I’ve faced a lot of my own fears and inadequacies. As I’ve progressed, I’ve learned to love what I do more and more. I love watching students grow. I love sharing in their accomplishments, whether it is winning a tennis match or memorizing a new piece of music. I love watching a student’s face light up when he begins to understand. I love teasing a teenager about her first date. I love hearing a student say, “I love this piece!” I love watching a student do something he couldn’t do a week ago, or maybe a year ago. I love figuring out new and better ways of presenting concepts so they make more sense. I love inspiring kids to work hard, and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they realize how much progress they’ve made.

When I first became a mom almost two years ago, I wondered if I would enjoy going back to teaching. I feared I would resent the time I spent with my students, since it was time I couldn’t spend with my own child. I learned two important things when I started teaching again. First, these students are also my children. I am a partner with their parents in the effort to raise exceptional human beings. And the second thing I realized is that this is who I am. I am, and will always be, a teacher. Nothing will ever change that.

Jennifer Boster

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