Big Brown Eyes


Two weeks ago, my daughter proclaimed that her mother is a workaholic.

Last week, my husband noted that I had not been home before six o’clock in weeks.

As we wind down the first quarter of the new school year, I find myself mentally and physically exhausted.

Of course when I stop, I realize that my life is not balanced. I realize that when I do have time to relax I find I am on Pinterest looking for the latest instructional strategy success or brilliant teacher idea. I try to disconnect. I try to separate work and home. I try with little success to work less, teach less, learn less, think less, lead less, inspire less…but I always fail. Doing less is not who I am…I am a teacher. True, my classroom is no longer in room 10, but I will always be a teacher.

Why? 17 years after my student teaching, why am I still teaching? The answer may seem simple to some, and perhaps ridiculous to others. I am a teacher because of those big, brown eyes. 17 years ago, Fernando’s big brown eyes spoke to me. His eyes showed me a world of learning that I had yet to uncover through my teaching. Today, 17 years later, they are Leslie’s big brown eyes that look at me knowing that I help her teacher and school continue to improve.

Why? A long time ago, we were called or decided to make education our life’s work. We made the commitment for the betterment of a child. In the sea of directives and unrealistic demands, the ones that are counting on us are the students we serve each and every day. My students, your students, our students need to know that we will always do what is best for their success. When my big brown eyes meet the gaze of a student’s big brown eyes, I need them to know that I will always do more… because I am a teacher.

Why are you a teacher? Why are you still a teacher?


Daniela A. Robles

Daniela A. Robles

Phoenix, Arizona

I am a teacher and beginning my fourteenth year of teaching in Arizona’s public schools. The greatest lessons I learned were from teaching first grade for ten years. My inspirations stem from these past few years where my classroom has ranged from the Intervention Room to the Coaches’ Room.

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