The Heart of Teaching

Hannah Hensel, Program Director at Center for Urban Teaching, shared her journey of urban teaching with all of the UNITE attendees. Hannah really embodies what it means to have the “Heart of Teaching”.

My name is Hannah and for years I was lost
My identity was in success and that had a high cost
I tried to compete with others on the “perfect” chart
Thinking if I got all A’s I must be smart

But teaching CfUT summer school there was no denying
How could a class of 5th graders have me out here crying
I struggled with planning and don’t get me started on management
When it came to education in the city, I felt inadequate

But God said, “Hey Hannah, I need to bring you to your knees”
“Let me show you my love that you need to rely on Me”
So CfUT took me on tours, showed me the possible
I began to feel Called and that doing nothing would be irresponsible

I realized that God was using Dr. Dusseau
And Krysta, and Ashley, and other people I came to know
It’s no coincidence that over and over CfUT would resurface
That I was in this place, at this conference, by God and on purpose

There were so many lessons that CfUT instilled
I defined my core values and increased my skill
My CfUT network became my extended family
And the love for the children was my new reality

Once I stopped just going through the motion
And started to listen to God; meditate on His devotion
I started to realize that purpose goes beyond being an achiever
And I began to develop the heart of a teacher

It is my prayer that people in this room today
Join me as an alumni who are committed to stay
That you open yourself to all of the unknown
And that the heart of teaching becomes your own