What love means

17 Feb

Image by @Lel4nd via Flickr

Love has many meanings. We tend to think of romantic love, especially at this time of year. However, it really means whatever you want it to. Romance, family, friends, people who touch our lives – that’s what love is about.

On Thursday, as I was dancing the chicken dance with 24 3rd graders at a Valentine’s Day party, I was overcome with such a strong feeling of love that I nearly cried. It was a silly moment, but one so full of beauty, I almost couldn’t stand it.

We teach, because we love.

As I was driving north yesterday, to see my best friends (who I love dearly), I listened to This American Life on NPR. The entire episode (part one of two) followed teachers, administrators, and students at Harper High School. Harper High School’s attendance area includes more than 15 gangs – and last year 29 current and former students from Harper were shot, and 8 of them died.

Listening to the staff talk about their students – listening to them talking to their students – you can tell that they are motivated by Love. Love with a capital L. They Love the students who drop out, they Love the students who have no choice but to join a gang. They Love the football players who worry about rival gang members on the team. They Love the student who accidentally shot his little brother.

These teachers work hard every day to help their students simply survive high school. Administrators often drive students to and from school, so they don’t walk through dangerous situations. Social workers meet with students and their parents on a regular basis. On a day after a gang-related shooting, some students are sent home for their safety – so they don’t have to walk home through rival gang territory at dismissal time.


As the Beatles say, it’s all you need.

6 Responses to “What love means”

  1. professorjvg February 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    The chicken dance image made my day.

    Thank you.

    • teacherbecoming2013 February 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      It filled me with vivid, intense joy. I have been missing that feeling from my life lately, and it was intense and beautiful.
      Plus I love the idea that The Chicken Dance can be so emotional!

  2. teachingsparkle February 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    I love love love your blog posts. I had a moment on Valentine’s Day too where it was so wonderful and powerful to see the students being friends to each other, and smiling and laughing and being silly. I had many deep conversations that left me with a giant smile on my face. I couldn’t agree more with your statement that “we teach because we love.” Perfectly said.

  3. Elementary Thots March 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Felt nice and warm, reading your post. So much happens in a day, especially now, that sometimes we lose sight of the big picture; love & care. Those small moments are more than enough for us to keep going and thanks for bringing our attention to that because we enjoy those moments but, don’t stop to recognize it. Well written!

  4. respondingtothecall March 4, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    What a beautiful post.
    Both stories speak to the importance of loving and caring for students. These are children that are looking for someone to care not only about their academic achievement, but them as people as well. The bigger picture is that parents, teachers, and administrators play an important role in our student’s lives, shaping who they are and who they are becoming.

  5. RLT March 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    This is such a beautiful post, I can’t stop smiling. Love must be at the core of what we do. True authentic love. And you describe it so well. Thank you!

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