One of my dear graduate students who is getting her Master's degree in Educational Leadership wrote such a beautiful post, I told her I had to "steal" it. Well, technically, it's not stealing because she gave me her permission to use it. Thank you, Maria Tijerina, for your words and your passion and your permission.
When I started teaching I was often asked "Why are you a teacher"? Before I could answer they would say, "If you are in it for the money, you are in the wrong profession". I have always responded by saying, "I teach because I am passionate about the profession and know I am doing what I was meant to do." It makes me happy. In fact, everyone ought to be happy in their career, regardless of what it is. Don’t lose sight of why you are in the teaching profession, and it would help to reflect on your reasons every once in a while.
When you are enjoying the teaching profession, you will probably experience the following rewards:
3. I AM SURROUNDED WITH LOVE--As a teacher, it is so rewarding to go to work and be surrounded by love all around me! Sometimes, during a busy time or stressful day, a simple “I love you, Miss”, or a doodle from a student on their free time, can instantly put a smile on my face. It is such an honor to be able to teach students and love them while they are in my care.
4. I GET TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES--You get to celebrate big and small accomplishments throughout the day and school year with your students. You get to watch your students (current and previous) grow and be proud that you were part of the process to get them to where they are today.
5. I GET TO LAUGH ALL DAY LONG-- Most great teachers would probably agree that kids are hilarious without even trying to be! One at a time or all at once, your students probably make you laugh. I don’t know about you, but to me, laughter is the perfect cure for so many things in life. When you are a teacher, you need to have a sense of humor and joke around with your students.
6. I GET TO CREATE MY WORK ENVIRONMENT--In most professions, people don’t get to “create” their own environment. They go to work in the environment that has been created for them and maybe they are able to contribute to it somewhat. However, teachers get to create their own environment within limitations, of course. We can only hope that teachers create a positive environment that will enrich the learning that goes on in the classroom. Teachers have the freedom to make the best out of it! If you spend most of your weekdays in your classroom, why not make the environment as positive, comfortable, and happy as possible? Do it for yourself and the children who share the space with you.
7. I GET TO INSPIRE OTHERS--Whether you do it intentionally or not, you inspire others just for being you. You inspire kids to do their best when you do your best. You inspire your colleagues to work hard when you work hard. You inspire everybody around you to be happy, positive, creative, and energetic when you are. We really are models, aren't we?
8. I GET TO FEED MY INNER CREATIVITY--Since becoming a teacher, I have learned so much about my creative potential that I didn’t know existed. Now, it comes very naturally for me to set up my classroom, create bulletin displays, create engaging lessons and appealing resources, etc. Thanks to teaching, I have a new appreciation for art, as well. Now, I can confidently organize events, create resources to help make the learning environment more engaging. Use your teaching experiences to spark your inner creativity because it is there even if you haven’t discovered it yet.
9. I GET TO CREATE LASTING MEMORIES TO CHERISH FOREVER--Every year, I look forward to September because I get to meet my new students for the year. I get to learn personalities of 20+ students and how I can help them all reach their potential while the care of these students is in my hands. When the school year ends, I always get emotional because I know I will miss the kids as we all move on. No matter how many years I do this, it never gets old. The feeling of excitement when September approaches will always be there. And as much as it can get emotional at year-end, I am always grateful for the memories that we’ve given each other and what we’ve learned from one another. Some people ask me what my favorite grade or class is but the truth is, I simply cannot name one. As cliché as it sounds, they are all my favorites.
10. I GET TO TEACH--No matter what you do, don’t take it for granted. I know many teachers who struggle to land a full-time teaching position due to a surplus of teachers in certain locations around the world. If you are given the opportunity to teach, enjoy it, take advantage of that opportunity, and give it your all. When you are a teacher, you teach beyond the textbooks. You teach children how to deal with their emotions and how to problem solve. You teach children how to be independent and organized in life. You teach children what matters to them and what their interests are. You teach children how to have good manners and how to be responsible for their own actions. You teach children how to apologize to others and learn from their mistakes/actions. The greatest part is, you teach all of this and so much more without even realizing it. You teach all of this by simply being an amazing teacher who cares about what you do.
To all in this profession I say "Thank you for all you do to mold and change lives. God bless you all."
And God bless you, dear Maria, for saying what so many of us feel.
Teachers, please add your comments about your favorite part of teaching.
Happy Communicating to all,