Teaching Profession Video

VIDEO: One Teacher Says Teaching Is a Profession, Not a ‘Work of Heart’

By Emma Patti Harris & Madeline Will — March 14, 2022 4:34

Jherine Wilkerson, an 8th grade English/language arts teacher in Peachtree City, Ga., recently penned an essay for Education Week titled, “I Don’t Have to Love My Students to Be a Good Teacher.”

She said the word “love” in education leads to “an intentional devaluation” of the profession and has “caused people to believe that what we do is something that they can also do, and what we do doesn’t matter.”

When asked about the phrases like, “teaching is not a job, it’s a calling,” Wilkerson said, “I hate it because teaching is not a calling for me.”

“It was a choice. And when you consider something a calling, I think it really diminishes the work that you put into it.”

Read next

Teaching is [a] work [of heart].
Teaching Profession Q&A Why One Teacher Hates the Phrase 'Teaching Is a Calling'
Madeline Will, March 10, 2022
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration

Emma Patti Harris is a deputy managing editor for Education Week who oversees visuals and immersive experiences.
Madeline Will is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession.


Classroom Technology Video How Pedagogy Can Catch Up to Artificial Intelligence
Educators need to start considering how AI's capabilities should change what students learn, experts say.
1 min read
052224 EW LeadSym 406 BS
Chris Ferenzi for Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Video Cellphone Policies in Schools, Explained
Educators have multiple factors to consider when deciding how to handle cellphones in schools. Education Week breaks them down.
052124 Cell Phones jb BS
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Curriculum Video A Look Inside the Creation of a New Asian American Studies Curriculum
This state is including the experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the curriculum. Here's what that looks like.
Special Education Video How Schools Can Use AI to Lighten the Load for Special Education Teachers
A look at some of the use cases for AI in special education, and some of the precautions educators should take when incorporating AI.