As many of you know, I’ve become a recent “From the Heart” fanatic since discovering the podcast through a friend’s Instagram story a few weeks ago. It’s all I’ve been tuning in to as of late and, honestly, I have no shame. My husband thinks I’m a slight lunatic for screaming things like, “I LOVE YOGA GIRL SO MUCH” in the middle of washing the dishes or vacuuming the house. (In my defense, I’m LISTENING to her podcast when I’m doing those things).
It’s just crazy when words can overcome you in such a way that your whole body is just like, “YES. YOU GET ME. YOU KNOW MY INSIDES.”
(Just an FYI, if you’re new around here, “From the Heart” is a podcast run by Rachel Brathen – who grew a social media presence/following through her Instagram page. Her handle is @yoga_girl). And, if it isn’t already obvious, I love her. A lot.
The Love Part
In one of her last episodes, Rachel talks about how her love for yoga has changed with time. Initially, she was so focused on the backbends and inversions and all the challenging poses she could contort her body into. But, over time, she’s discovered it’s the “off-the-mat” stuff she loves. The sharing part of yoga. The “opening up your heart” part of yoga. She loves the raw and real and vulnerable part of yoga.
The love part of yoga.
Not only did this resonate so deeply within me because, hello, my body CANNOT backbend or do inversions. I’m lucky if I can even sit cross-legged for longer than a minute at a time. But, it struck a cord with me because it helped me realize that it is the exact same way I feel about teaching.
I didn’t become a teacher because I love grammar or Shakespeare (though I feel that I’m permanently obligated to point out when people are using the wrong kind of “your” or “there”). I’m not particularly fond of geometry. I could probably benefit from a writing teacher myself given that I am never able to stick to a topic sentence. Bullet points are my favorite invention.
It’s not the content that I care about. It’s never really been the content.
It’s always been the love.
That’s what drew me to teaching. Because I love the kids. I love their complete innocence and wide-eyed curiosity.
I love the relationships we build over the course of the year. And the lessons that we learn through experiences in and out of the classroom (none of which have anything to do with the curriculum). I love the conversations we have during unstructured time about life and family and the latest video game craze. With each conversation we have, our relationship strengthens and our love is reinforced.
It’s the best part about teaching.
Sure, those “lightbulb moments” are pretty great.
But nothing beats those moments where a child comes bursting into your classroom, eager to tell you about what went down over the weekend. Or when they seek you out at lunch time because they need somebody to talk to. Or when, out of the blue, you feel their tiny little arms wrap around your waist as they look up at you and say, “Miss Divya. I sure love you.”
Nothing beats those moments.
It is in those moments where all walls come down, all layers are shed, and love takes over.
It is in those moments that I can recognize my value as a teacher. It’s not because I taught them how to properly use a contraction. It’s not because I taught them how to identify the main idea in a passage.
It’s because, under all that content and curriculum and common core standards, there is love.
And I’m great at that part of teaching.
The love part of teaching.