The Courage to Teach


It has always been said that teaching is a noble profession. As a result, this noble profession requires something special that is different from any other white-collar job. Apart from the challenges that it comes within the term of the low payments and the disregard that it gets from the other professionals, being a teacher is more of a calling because of the courage that a teacher must have. Teaching involves imparting the knowledge into innocent, and it has to be done in the rightful, manner. The courage of being a teacher involves more than intuition and professionalism. It is a dedication of oneself to integrity and ultimate professionalism. Whereas the other professionals only live their professional lives in their time in the profession, a teacher has to remain a teacher for their entire life. Even after they have retired, the tag of being a teacher will always be part of their lives. From a personal perspective, I have always known the risks that a teacher is exposed to. I know that I have to have a different perspective on life. I am dealing with the innocent souls that sometimes are difficult to deal with. Being a teacher requires more than just professional content delivery; it is a noble calling that requires a complete transformation of identity and integrity.

The Courage to Teach

I have always believed that I am a teacher at heart. According to Palmer (2017), when my students and discover anything new that we have to explore, there is always an experience that illuminates our hearts with the students.  The joy of wanting to help innocent students achieve their dreams makes the profession seem to e more of a calling. However, there are moments that the life of the classroom becomes quite painful and confusing. There are times that to become powerless and I am not aware of how to keep going. At these moments, my claims of being a good teacher become a complete sham.  At a certain point in the life of a teacher, there is the likelihood of losing interest just because of the lack of corporation from the students. The hard work that a teacher puts in the students can sometimes seem to be limited. I even wonder why I could master this quite demanding art. Teaching is an art that is different from other professions.  The first two sources are classified as the commonplace while the third one is the most fundamental and is rarely given due.  As teachers, there are times that the lessons offered are flawed. Teachers do not know everything. They fall short in certain instances. Also, the research and reading done on the subjects are not enough.  Sometimes the students can fail to understand the contents delivered by the teacher despite his or her efforts.   Dealing with the students is the other complex idea that the teachers have to find solutions for.

It is the responsibility of the teacher to find ways of staying ahead of the student’s psyche to deal with the complexities of teaching. The other reason for the complexities in teaching is because the teachers are teaching who they are (Kreber, 2015). Just like the other human activities, teaching is an inward calling and a sacrifice. Teaching is a calling to me. This means that I put everything into it. It is the only thing that I depend on. I have to know that I am crucial to the good advice and passing knowledge just like my students and my subject. Besides, as a teacher, I have to know myself. Without knowing myself, it will be impossible to know my students.  It is because without seeing the students, I cannot find the methods of successfully teaching them.



Teaching that goes beyond the technique

Becoming a good teacher is sometimes not dependent on the ability to deliver content (Palmer, 2017).  It involves dedication and continuous practice of the content. Identifying a good teacher involves more than the methodologies, and the confidence in the content delivered. After several years of trying to identify my craft, I have come to the knowledge that every class that a teacher is involved with depends on how truthful the teacher stays to himself or herself. The teaching involves engagement in the ancient exchanges; through education.  I have never used the same techniques in my teaching profession. I have always advocated for changes and evolution. When I am involved in an activity, the potential success is what drives me to continue pursuing it. Hence, through identity creation, the technique becomes second for effective teaching (Maiers, and Sandvold, 2017).  The identity and integrity of the teacher are important in these ideas. When I interact with my students, I do not have to focus on the content but the people that I teach. As a result, I have to stay true to who I am. Despite the calls to change in life and the difficulties faced, the ultimate price of a teacher is worthless.  However, it was surprising that none of the good teachers had a characteristic that was similar to the others. This shows that the characteristics of a good teacher are not universal. It is about staying true to who they are. This means that the teacher has to understand themselves and become consistent (Hughes, 2017). Some teachers speak slowly, those who speak fast and those who stay close to the materials that they have. This means that it is impossible to describe a good teacher through the similar techniques that they offer.

The similarity is that these teachers have a strong sense of personal identities that infuses the work that they have done. The best teachers are those that know how to deliver the content in a way that they feel will best suit the students.

The art of teaching and the true self

Even though the identity and the integrity of the teacher are the basis of every teacher’s dream, good teaching also involve being a good person.  The identities of teacher do not necessarily earn the right amount of money that other people get from the other professions (Dunn, 2015). This is what makes teaching a noble profession. It does not have the stature of the other jobs.  The way a teacher behaves in society has to be different. They set examples in society, and the entire generation depends on them. The uniqueness of a teacher comes from the heart. They have to stay dedicated to the profession even if they re not in class. These identities and integrities are not the main substitutes to anything. However, they are the different dimensions that are offered about the more complex and demanding process of a lifestyle.  The identity mainly lives in the self-discovery.


In conclusion, the courage to teach is a calling. It involves courage and an investment of the heart. The teaching career is a noble profession, and it has to be treated that way. According to the arguments presented by Palmer, teaching does not involve the ability to deliver the contents to the students. It is the ability to handle the presented challenges that come from the realities, the students and the other professions.the book,  The courage to teach is s a true reflection of this noble profession and shows the world what it takes to be a teacher. This book shows the work of the teacher from the noble nature and how the courage to teach requires the complete transformation and dedication from the teachers. They have to embrace the calling. The complete life change will also show the teachers and the way they live their lives. The book also prepares the people who are still willing to join the profession to be prepared for the tasks and the challenges that they will get involved in. Despite the critics that this book faces from others who claim that it exaggerates the sacrifice of a teacher, the contents are still accurately depicting the ultimate sacrifice of a teacher.




Dunn, A. H. (2015). The courage to leave: Wrestling with the decision to leave teaching in uncertain times. The Urban Review47(1), 84-103.

Hughes, J. (2017). Future of the Humanities: Teaching Art, Religion, Philosophy, Literature and History. Routledge.

Kreber, C. (2015). Reviving the ancient virtues in the scholarship of teaching, with a slight critical twist. Higher Education Research & Development34(3), 568-580.

Maiers, A., & Sandvold, A. (2017). The passion-driven classroom: A framework for teaching and learning. Routledge.

Palmer, P. J. (2017). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a

      Teacher’s life (3rd Ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.