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.

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