Do you ever wonder what makes the schools of Bucks and Montgomery counties so exceptional? We’re proud that so much of it has to do with the commitment and passion that our educators bring to the classroom every day.
As one example of this, we’d like to share a peek inside the mind of Charles W. Speicher Jr. who teaches general music at the Cole Manor Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District. We’re so proud of him and the 13,000 other teachers who inspire our students every day. We’re happy to share this interview and invite you to let us know about other amazing teachers:
When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
In college, I began teaching piano in order to help pay for my schooling. From the very first day it felt rewarding, dignifying, and interesting. I knew I had discovered something new about myself that day.
When did you realize that you made the right decision to be a teacher?
I realized that I’d made the right decision to become a teacher when I was able to see how deeply important my role was within the lives of my students. We profoundly shape the future of the world around us through our kids and that is a dignifying responsibility.
In your opinion, what makes public education great?
What makes public education great is the opportunity we have to work within and shape the community around us. There is no hierarchy, only equal opportunity for every human being. For that reason, public education is to me a deeply spiritual institution.
What inspires you to lead your class every day?
Music is an opportunity to participate in a more beautiful world. I teach general music in a struggling community where the students look forward to the hope they receive from what they are learning about themselves through art. While academia can remain stuck on “standardized testing” I’m able to illuminate areas of interest, love, and talent through careful and attentive nurturing.
What’s something that your students can’t get anywhere else?
My students can’t get me anywhere else. My commitment to them is a reflection of my commitment to myself; we’re all learning together through a process that sees both success and failure, high standards, and a loving commitment to not take any of it too seriously. Like anyone, I may have areas of inadequacy but my undying optimism and love for my students inspires gratitude within me that I have been charged with the awesome responsibility of their care.
Charles W. Speicher Jr.
Cole Manor Elementary School (K-4)
Norristown Area School District