On the third day of school I asked students, “Besides money, what is the one thing that you personally have to get from a job?” I thought it was a good question to begin our unit on career explorations.
I didn’t predict their answers would also help me with the question: Why do I teach?
But when I read them, I knew that they did.
I combined my students’ most relevant answers into the following paragraph. Each bold word or phrase is from a different student.
So, Why do I teach?
I teach because I like teaching; teaching is exciting. Teaching makes me happy and a better person, while I, in turn, have the opportunity to make others happy. Plus, I get tons of respect along the way. Teaching is fun and I want to do it because it gives me enjoyment to work with a great bunch of good coworkers and bosses in a challenging environment. Plus, I meet new people to socialize with every year. Although I comply with policy and have contract hours, I have tremendous autonomy in executing my obligations. That makes me fee like my own boss and that I set my own hours. Even after 28 years (each one of which has brought at least some success), I’m still gaining experience, knowledge, and maintaining a good attitude. I accomplish something by teaching: I see students grow competent in algebra, promote policies until they’re adopted, and help facilitate the growth of the teacher leader movement.
I owe my students a big thank you for helping me analyze and evaluate my skills, desires, and options and conclude that teaching is the best option for me.