Spotlights
Why BCPS teachers #LoveTeaching
02/23/2016

Spotlight

So often positivity in the news is drowned out by disheartening stories that leave us feeling discouraged. Last winter, Sean McComb, a teacher from Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts and the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, and two friends of his felt just that. What he and his colleagues loved about teaching was being traded in the news for resignation letters gone viral, court battles, and negative coverage. So, they collaboratively took to the likes of Twitter and elsewhere to elevate the positive stories that made them get up and go to work every day, and made them feel a profound sense of satisfaction about their jobs.

“We don't deny that it's hard to be a teacher, that there's room to improve, and that we should advocate for the profession to be bolstered,” McComb said.

But instead of only focusing on the downsides and pitfalls, they started using the hashtag #LoveTeaching to share their passion and to find inspiration across many social media platforms.

“Last year's campaign drew 5 million interactions, which was more than we would have ever dreamed. The Secretary of Education even made a video,” McComb shared.

This year, John B. King, Jr., the new Secretary of Education made two videos – one about why he loved being a teacher and another encouraging others to share their passion, and the hashtag again went viral. Actor Ashton Kutcher even tweeted one of McComb’s blog posts from the campaign.

“What's really great is to scroll through and see teachers taking the time to focus on what they love about their work, and sharing that,” said McComb. “(Last) week (I saw) dozens of teachers share something like, ‘this is exactly what I needed right now.’ And that's what we hoped would come from three teachers getting together to share an idea we cooked up last winter.”

Here’s what McComb wrote about his devotion to his career: “I love teaching because we live in a world that is too often cruel and unjust, and if we are smart enough, care enough, and work hard enough, we can teach our way toward a better world.”

Check out these examples of how the #LoveTeaching campaign went viral this year (Provided by McComb):

  • McComb’s #LoveTeaching blog
  • A veteran Maryland educator implored young teachers to see past politics and policies to focus on the human experience of connection.
  • An Arizona elementary school took the campaign school wide with a photo booth.
  • A teacher in Georgia created a photo essay with her favorite moments from the school year.
  • Montana teacher explained how setting boundaries has allowed her to sustain her love of the profession.
  • A teacher in Minnesota explained how being angry for his students drives his passion as an educator.
  • A Kentucky English teacher put together a list of 20 reasons she loves her work.
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