The past year or so has been rough for our profession. We faced a constant barrage by the media, labeling us all as greedy, lazy clock punchers who were doing nothing more than glorified babysitting. Our salaries and benefits were questioned because there is NO way anyone who is currently in the classroom is there to actually teach anyone anything. I mean, we are all there to go home at 3pm and have the summers off. Then, with revelations of horrible atrocities at the hands of a TINY MINUTE HANDFUL of teacher, ALL of us have been vilified and looked upon with suspicion. And now, in the wake of a sad, mind-numbing tragedy, many of us are thinking about how...about WHY we should go on.
Well, let me tell you why *I* teach.
I teach because of Bryan M. who, while we were studying the rows of teeth that sharks have and how there is always one waiting behind it in case it breaks off during a feeding frenzy, made the connection to the American Revolution and how soldier formation mimicked that same pattern.
I teach because of Jackie, who came to me at the beginning of 5th grade and would read every word that began with the letter "t" teacher, because she knew that teacher began with t so she might as well guess....and by the end of 5th grade was actually reading.
I teach because of Michael, who told me he was "too poor" to ever do a project in school, yet came on the day the project was due with the proudest, most accomplished smile and a project made from materials we found in my room and research that we did during recess and lunch time.
I teach because of the immense joy being handed a sticker brings to a child.
I teach because of that moment when you are standing in front of a room full of children, telling about why the explorers first began to set out to explore the world, and realize that 30 pairs of eyes are all staring at you...hanging on every word.
I teach for bulletin boards and lesson planning and the excitement of finding that next amazing lesson to teach in my room.
I teach because of my fellow colleagues, who constantly are showing me what it means to go above and beyond in your chosen profession.
I teach because it is inside of me. It is who I am. It is what I love to do.
I teach because of letters like this:
So now you know why I teach. Please tell me....Why do YOU teach?