Ten Reasons to Teach
It has been a year of disillusionment and somewhat crushed idealism, to say the least, but my first year of teaching has taught me more than I even realize. There has been so many articles and scenarios on the news recently and most of them have a lot of validity to them. They encourage young people to choose another profession or to understand that one's value may not be appreciated while in the career. Too many things can drag educators down--even teachers are turning on each other--BUT, despite all of the haters and difficulties, there are still throngs of people who enter in the field every year. I am one of those individuals. I may be idealistic, but I also still have the dream that I've had my whole life. I may have lost that dream a few times throughout the year, but because I keep finding it and believing in that dream, I know I am still doing the right thing. When Eat, Write, Teach announced she was hosting a link-up to share the reasons people SHOULD teach, I knew that I had to participate. Even though I share a lot of the difficulties, such as not why being a teacher blogger can suck, I hope people know that there are good things--great things--about teaching, even in year one.
10. You get to be a student every single day for the rest of your career! Some people pay to do this ;) It's an awesome perk of being a teacher to continually grow, learn, and pursue educational opportunities that otherwise wouldn't be made available. Sometimes, even graduate and Ph.D programs are free or at a minimal expense. Education is the best investment you can make.
9. Every day is a challenge and, most of the time, you find a solution. Because each day is different, you are presented with new problems each class; as the teacher, it is your responsibility to try to solve many of these problems so that you can educate your students. While this seems like a daunting task, it relieves you from monotony and you continually feel growth with each problem you fix or remove.
8. You get to participate in FUN activities! What other job asks you to participate in donkey basketball (I haven't pursued that one just yet...:P) and talent shows, chaperone dances and trips to Six Flags (senior trip, holla!), and wear silly outfits during spirit week? Some days are just a blast to participate in and the kids love and appreciate it when you're involved.
7. You are not confined to a chair at a desk; you get to move! A lot! For some, this is a huge plus. I am often tempted to wear a pedometer to see how much I walk each day.
6. You are given a lot of control and responsibility. While this can be a difficulty, it is also really exciting and rewarding. I enjoy being a leader and a role model for young people and to be viewed as someone important and in charge.
5. You laugh multiple times a day. Sure, there are days when you want to pull out your hair and cry, but the amount of laughter outweighs those moments every day.
4. Teachers form strong bonds with each other, fostering relationships of collaboration, support, and friendship. Some of my favorite friends are co-workers and teachers. I couldn't make it through without them!
3. You get to share in the successes of others. When people accomplish great things or succeed, the excitement and energy is contagious. While I tend to witness tiny successes like an A on a paper, it's still something to be praised and enjoyed.
2. You truly do make a difference in some students' lives. I have only seen a small glimpse of this so far in my first year. I probably won't see my impact until my kids come back from college to visit or send me a message. But I know that I have been the sounding board for students going through difficult times, I've written recommendation letters for Eagle Scouts and scholarships, and I've been written little notes of appreciation. It's a fantastic and unexplainable feeling to be a part of a students' growth.
1. While you may not come home happy every single day, you always come home knowing that you put in your all. There's so much satisfaction in knowing that you spent the last 10+ hours working hard, getting things accomplished, helping others, and demonstrating your skills. While the job is never ever complete (and that is frustrating), you will prove your work ethic every single day and feel fulfillment.