Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish and you have fed them for a lifetime.
Like most parables, this simple statement encapsulates a wisdom that keeps us moving forward as a people, a society, a community, and as individuals. The knowledge we possess about our world, and how we decide to act within it, are gained through the understandings we receive from our first teachers. In a stage in life where the mind is vulnerable and our comprehension is limited, teachers are there to help us realize and understand the mysterious and unknown. They help us look at a problem, and they teach us to harness and use a tool that is unmatched by any object, animal, or machine that has ever existed. They help us realize how to use our minds.
Teachers bridge generations together, pass along social understandings, introduce new ways of looking at the world, illuminate the darkness of ignorance, and maintain the foundation of civilization. The teacher is the parent of society, the custodian of knowledge, and the preserver of everything we have gained as humans. A teacher is any person who chooses to impart an understanding, a body of knowledge, and an intellect onto a person in the hope that they can fully achieve what they are capable of accomplishing. We are all teachers.
As a teacher, you have produced a tool that cannot be held, and a currency that cannot be evaluated. The magnitude of your contribution is something that is not easily measured, but is vital to the presence of culture and civility. As a teacher, you help students understand the potential of an individual and you help them understand the value of their existence as a part of a greater whole. Teachers allow us to grow, to understand, and to have the intellect to understand who we are and what we can do.
—Calvert Curriculum Team