I recently got an email from Marjan Glavic of The Busy Educator. He and his wife were visiting NYC from Ontario and wanted to know if I’d like to get together. I always love chatting with other educators, and I’ve followed Marjan’s work for many years, so this was a real honor!

We met for dinner at a fabulous little Italian restaurant in the East Village called Giano (the ravioli with mascarpone cheese was so good I could have licked the plate) and did some catching up. After appetizers, dinner, dessert, wine, and coffee, I realized a) I wouldn’t need to eat again for a week, and b) several hours had passed and I hadn’t even noticed. Marjan and his wife are both just so down to earth and easy to talk to, I could have sat there all night.

Marjan was a teacher for nearly 30 years, and has some great stories to tell about how education has changed since he started. Now in his “retirement”,  he’s pursuing consulting and professional development work on a greater scale. He’s also still publishing The Busy Educators’ Newsletter which he’s been sending out since 1998 (!!) and he’s just published his fourth book!

As we were leaving, Marjan was kind enough to give me two copies of Teaching Is…Moments That Inspire and Motivate Teachers to Make a Difference…so of course, I thought of you all and decided to give one away! As soon as he pulled the tiny, glossy-finish hardcover book out of his bag, I thought to myself, Oooh, that book would make a PERFECT gift! Apparently I also said that out loud, because Marjan smiled and said that’s exactly what he had in mind. It’s wonderful to give to new graduates, student teachers, colleagues, people who are retiring, and so on.

The book is a collection of quotes that reinforce the power of teachers to inspire, motivate, and make a difference. And like teaching itself, some quotes make you laugh out loud, others make you feel wistful, while still others make you nod in that “I wish I didn’t relate to that!” kind of way. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • You can immediate understand why a student behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents.
  • That incredible, indescribable feeling of relief when the last report card is written.
  • Reluctantly lending a student $1.29 in February, writing it off as a bad loan, then seeing a neatly piled stack of coins on your desk on the last day of school.
  • Anxiously waiting and silently praying that the bus shows up for your end-of-year field trip.
  • You can tell if it’s a full moon or if a storm is coming without ever going outside.
  • Leaving school on a late Friday night exhausted, but knowing deep down that you made a difference.

Check out some more in this video from TeachingIs.com.:


Such a great concept, right?  To win an autographed copy of the book, leave a comment on this post finishing the statement “Teaching Is…” with whatever our profession means to you. The contest closes on Thursday, May 24th at midnight. I’ll send the winner’s copy out right away, so you can have it quickly if you want to give it as graduation or end-of-year gift (or a gift for anyone who has made a difference in your life). Good luck!


EDITED 5/25: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is number 29, Kayla Golden, who said “Teaching is… making the active, conscious decision to dedicate all of your time and efforts into teaching and training the next generation.” It was so great to read all your comments–thank you!



  1. Leischen Celsur

    Teaching is ….. my life. Even on the worst day, the hardest day, the craziest day I still have a smile.

  2. Leteia Schwander

    Teaching is…learning that you have made a big difference in a student’s life without even knowing it!

  3. K.T. Cunningham

    Teaching is…understanding that you will learn more from your students than they will learn from you…and you will be a better teacher for it!

  4. Tiffani

    Teaching is. . . always changing and if you are not a step ahead you are 3 steps behind so keep moving =)

  5. Christine Brewer

    Teaching is…getting the opportunity to spend everyday with the future 🙂

  6. Pauline Watson

    Teaching is one of the hardest AND one of the most rewarding jobs in the whole world.

  7. Jessi

    Teaching is…the most fulfilling and sometimes un-fulfilling job in the world, and I love every minute of it 😀

  8. Jenny

    Teaching is…learning. When we stop learning we stop being effective teachers.

    (I’m loving the comments here!)

  9. Rhyan

    Teaching is: a way to uncover a deeply buried treasure that will otherwise be left undiscovered until you came along and polished it until it shone with the purest intention that God willed it to be.

  10. Matt

    Teaching is learning about life from five-year-olds.

  11. Sunny

    Teaching is….the most incredible way to spend time with the future!

  12. Karen L. Carpenter

    Teaching is….the job that gives life to all other jobs!

  13. Kim Bain

    Teaching is quenching my students thirst for knowledge and then leaving them thirsty for more.

  14. Jess Ballard

    Teaching, true, impassioned teaching, is evolving from being a lover of content (i.e. “I teach English”….”I teach math”…) to becoming a lover of learning and the students you inspire to do so (i.e. “I teach STUDENTS”…). When the content ceases to be the destination but rather the means to the true goal – a love of learning and an ability to do so effectively and independently – a teacher is doing their job, and the magic happens.

  15. Tracy Hayes

    Teaching is …a gift for me!!!
    I love teaching the kids new things and love them teaching me something new every day.

  16. Karen

    Teaching is … a huge responsibility and a precious gift, both at the same time. It’s about loving your students, learning from them, and helping them learn how to learn, so that learning doesn’t stop when they leave our classrooms.

    I really enjoyed reading some of the other comments too!

  17. Annie

    Teaching is…being a leader, a role model, a lifeline, a kind word, a hero to someone without even knowing it.

  18. Allyson

    Teaching is…the absolute BEST way to spend your day! 🙂

  19. Alli Cap

    Teaching…completes me.:)

  20. Sara

    Teaching is…challenging minds to remain creative, inquisitive, and open.

  21. Ksthleen Huddle

    Teaching is….about all our tomorrows.

  22. April Hester

    Teaching is making a difference in any child… motivating them to become leaders of our future… helping them see their potential, when they don’t… and feeling a since of pride when they’ve accomplished things they never thought they could and thanking you for believing in them. I love teaching… molding the brillant minds of our future and encouraging them to become strong independent individuals!!!

  23. Maria Crespo

    Teaching is….. giving HOPE…..forming Dreams and making them real. Is about learning, giving and teaching how to use the right tools to create a better future for all of us.

  24. Jen

    Teaching is…a never ending job. As a parent and a teacher, I never stop learning and teaching! 🙂

  25. Heather

    Teaching is ….a passion that you go in every morning and exhausted every night, but you know that you did make that difference for your students. And when they say, I’m really going to miss you on the last day of school, you know you impacted them somehow, in one form or another. 🙂

  26. Carol

    Teaching is… the most frustrating, all consuming, life-draining, challenging, inspiring, magical, exhausting, and rewarding careers a person could commit to, all rolled into one. That what keeps me coming back, year after year. 🙂

  27. Ramona Wright

    Teaching is…… The hardest yet most inspiring thing I have ever done short of raising my own children.

  28. Lisa Lantz

    Teaching is…investing your heart, soul, and mind with the faith that the dividends will greatly multiply in the child’s future.

  29. Kayla Golden

    Teaching is… making the active, conscious decision to dedicate all of your time and efforts into teaching and training the next generation.

  30. Fran Long

    Teaching is…knowing that I’ve made a difference in the life of a child!

  31. Audrey Mitchell

    Teaching is preparing my students to live meaningful lives outside the classroom.

  32. cindi

    teaching is….the most exhausting, heartbreaking, wonderfully fun, exhilaratingly wild, purposefully fulfilling, and joyously educational thing a person can do with his/herself.

  33. Suzanne

    Changing lives 1 min at a time.

  34. Debbie

    Teaching is touching and awakening a soul each day.

  35. Dianne Kuehner

    Teaching is learning from the past, being present in the moment, and preparing for the future!

  36. Katy

    Darn, I missed it! Teaching is a lifelong journey.

  37. Natasha Morgan

    Teaching is <3 Heart <3 work

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