The Heart of Teaching
It is my absolute pleasure to host John Fioravante on this stop of his tour. Take it away, John!
I’m grateful to Lisa, my host of this fourth post of THE HEART OF TEACHING TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @ http://wp.me/P43s9i-2g
“I came to realize that helping others gave me a tremendous sense of fulfillment.”
Excerpt from John Fioravanti: A Personal Journey To The Heart of Teaching.
I was a young boy when I first discovered this fact about myself. Often it manifested itself in helping neighbours with their outside chores – like shoveling snow. There were times when it got me into trouble with my parents. You see, I’d rather help a stranger, or a neighbor that I didn’t know well, than do my assigned chores around our house. My Dad wasn’t amused when he got home after closing the store (IGA grocery store that he owned) and found our driveway full of snow. He was less impressed to discover I had been busy after school shoveling for neighbours.
He’d just give me a look that said, “Really?” Figuring he wouldn’t understand, I’d just shrug and give him a sappy smile. You guessed it; I was out, immediately after dinner, shoveling our drive – lit only by street lamps. Sometimes, my older brother, Peter, would feel sorry for his idiot brother and come outside to help. Pete worked after school with Dad, so the outside chores were mine.
As much as I disliked outside chores around our house, like shoveling, cutting and trimming lawns, and weeding flowerbeds, I didn’t mind doing these things for other people. I know that people often suspected my motives. Why is he kissing up to these people? What’s his angle? I didn’t resent the fact that my motives were suspect, because I didn’t understand it myself! Why am I doing things I dislike doing, for people that I hardly know?
All I knew was that doing these things that helped elderly neighbours, or people who were very busy, gave me a very warm feeling inside. I don’t know where this feeling came from, but I felt great whether I was thanked or not. Any time I was offered payment or refreshment, I politely, but firmly, refused. I feared that a reward would spoil that warmth inside that I was experiencing. The feeling was both exciting and comforting at the same time. I thought it was the greatest gift!
This was one of the things that led me to seek a career in education. I went to an all-boys Catholic high school and I had several teachers, some laymen, some priests, for whom
I had great admiration. I was able to spot which teachers were natural helpers, and saw how much pleasure they got from helping their students. Sometimes you saw it in their eyes. I came to see teaching as a noble profession that I wanted for myself.
Throughout my teaching career, I experienced countless instances of the inner warmth when I helped a student or a colleague. Sometimes this desire to help led me down the wrong path. Recently, a close friend informed me that I was forever trying to fix problems for people that are dear to me. It has been difficult to internalize the lesson that I can help best when I’m a good listener. I am truly a work in progress.
John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.
Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.
John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!
At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.
Book Purchase Links:
Amazon USA: http://dld.bz/dCm6v
Amazon Canada: http://dld.bz/dCm64
Amazon UK : http://dld.bz/dCm6P
Amazon Australia: http://dld.bz/dCmBB
Chapters/Indigo Canada: http://dld.bz/dCp5A
Barnes & Noble: http://dld.bz/dCp5E