Temple Jeremiah

 

Jeremiah Gems- Suzanne Sands

School! This is the place I have spent most of my time and dedicated most of my energy. As a young student, I looked forward to the day when I would be done with school. When I was a senior my calculus class was discussing the lack of quality teachers in our school. Our teacher asked how many of us were considering being teachers. Only one person raised her hand. It wasn’t me but it got me thinking. By the time I entered Tufts, I had decided I would become a teacher.

In short order, it was apparent to me that while teaching appears to be straightforward, possibly even easy, when you are a student, really doing it well is incredibly challenging. Learning is very complex and everyone learns differently. As a teacher, I learned from my students, their parents and my colleagues every day. After a decade of dedicating myself to my students, I became a mother.

With three children ages 14, 11 and 7, parenting continues to be my most challenging learning experience to date. To that end, I am currently reading, How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. As soon as my oldest entered school, I started volunteering at their schools. Now I also volunteer at Whittier Elementary in Waukegan through Jeremiah and I love every minute of my time there. I currently serve on our local school board and NSSED’s board giving me the opportunity to draw upon my education, professional expertise and life experience to have a positive impact on the learning for the children in my community while also allowing me to grow and learn in roles that are far different from being a teacher.

In many ways, I am still “in school” with no plans to be done any time soon. Over the years I’ve developed a deep respect for the powerful role that learning and education play in our lives.  As our children go back to school, let’s commit to growing and learning with them. Learning is a lifelong endeavor so I hope you have the opportunity to be “in school” in some way this year.

About Dina Bauwens

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