Posts Tagged ‘Reasons to become a teacher’

21 Reasons to Become a Teacher

October 16, 2013



Courtesy of writer


1. To encourage children to DREAM BIG

“On many occasions I play both educator and caretaker, which I admit can make one feel stretched thin at times, but I can’t imagine shutting the door to my classroom and leaving all the troubles of my kiddos behind. How are my young scholars able to learn if they aren’t first met on an emotional level? My thoughts on the rewards of teaching are simple: the joy of watching a child dream and imagine and think significantly outweighs the exhaustion. I would not have it any other way.” – Emily E. Smith teaches English Language Arts at Cunningham Elementary School in Austin, TX

2. To positively IMPACT THE FUTURE of our world

“From the time I started teaching, I was less interested in being a certain type of teacher and more interested in showing the students that they had worth and value. I believe that the true purpose of a teacher is to prepare kids to be good citizens of the world–to be satisfied, well-rounded human beings, which is not entirely about knowledge. A great measure of success is your ability to think critically and be intentional with your life.” – Josh Anderson teaches Debate, Forensics, and English at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, KS

3. To live with a deep SENSE OF PURPOSE

“Teachers have many precious opportunities to build a student’s self-concept, help shape a dream, provide redirection, and impart knowledge and wisdom… Having these opportunities and acting on them is what I value most about being a teacher. I don’t think of it as a job. It’s a purpose for living.” – Alma Suney Park teaches 6th grade at Eastside College Preparatory School, East Palo Alto, CA

4. To GET A LETTER like this

When Los Angeles teacher Rafe Esquith sent a check to help out a former at-risk student who was attending NYU, here’s an excerpt of the response he received: “I appreciate your willingness to help me. It reminds me (as if I could ever forget) that you are one of the greatest people I have ever had the honor to meet. But I’d much rather the money you are offering me go to the class, so that one day maybe some other kid will be in a position like mine. And while I’m on that subject I just have to tell you, I tell our story to anyone who will listen. Rafe, I honestly believe I would be dead right now if it wasn’t for you. I was headed down a dark path, where drug dealing didn’t seem so bad and the acceptance of a gang was looking like the only way to be accepted. You saved me from that.”

5. To discover your TRUE CALLING

“Eleven years ago, I began teaching high-school mathematics in Harlem and I’ve never looked back. Every day, my life has purpose. Every day, I make a difference. I teach content, even advanced placement statistics and advanced placement microeconomics at the college level, but I teach so much more. Simply by engaging in spontaneous reasoned dialogue with students, I offer them new ways of perceiving the world around them. I teach life skills; I teach morals; I teach wise choices; I teach compassion. I spend time with youngsters who need an adult who treats them with respect and kindness.” – Jane Klir Viau, left her lucrative Wall Street career to become an AP Statistics and Microeconomics teacher at the Frederick Douglass Academy 1 in New York City, NY

6. To be the ONE CARING ADULT in a child’s life

“I teach in a neighborhood labeled by the national media as ‘the killing zone.’ Some days it feels more like a third-world country–there’s so much violence, ignorance, drugs, poverty, etc. There are classes where my students don’t ever pick up their instruments–we just talk about something that’s upsetting or worrying them. In this neighborhood, things happen all the time that deeply affect these kids. Many of them don’t have an adult to go to. I leave my door open so that the children understand I am a listener for them, and if I’m not the right person to help, I’m going to find the right person.” – Helena Moss-Jack teaches Instrumental Music at Elmhurst Community Prep and Alliance Academy Middle School in Oakland, CA

7. To experience personal GROWTH

“Teaching reflects you. If you can look at that reflection, you will really learn about yourself. That humbles me and brings me to tears when I talk about it. Because in the beginning, I was scared of what I saw. Kids find the cracks in your armor. It is not that they set out to, they just do. But if you are willing to step back and reflect, you can grow so much. It is a wonderful, unexpected caveat. You think you are going to teach, but boy, do you learn.” – Jay Hoffman teaches Multimedia, Broadcasting, and Social Media at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington, VT

8. To GIVE AND RECEIVE unconditional love

“I was brought up with unconditional love and that inspires me to this day to not be afraid to love with all I have. Anything I can share with my students to help them be more successful–anything–I don’t care what it is, I will do it. Whether it’s morals or math or motion–I just want to give them every tool I possess. I want my students to see the beauty and the value in themselves, and find the strength and confidence to journey down the path they were created to walk and give it all they have.” – Sharon Patelsky teaches Physical Education at Everglades Elementary School in West Palm Beach, FL

9. To be a STUDENT for life

“My job is simply to be the lead learner, to be real for my students, to be authentic–to make mistakes, to be passionate, to geek out, and to get very serious when I need to be. I often use the metaphor of my desk being in the far back corner of the classroom to illustrate this learner-centered philosophy. As much as anything, it’s an outward sign of what is valued in our class: we are all students.” – Sarah Brown Wessling teaches English Language Arts at Johnston High School in Johnston, IA, and was the 2010 National Teacher of the Year


“Throughout my childhood, I thrived at school. I was third in my class and was selected to the Hall of Fame by my teachers. Despite that, I really did not believe I had any important talents to offer this world. That is, until one day in 1974, in my public speaking classroom. It was my first speech and I stood in front of the class filled with anxiety, but when I started talking, it felt pretty good. Afterwards, my teacher, Ms. Derbonne, left me a note saying that I had just unwrapped a very special gift. Here was the defining moment in my young life: I was innately designed to speak. She invited me to be on her elite competitive speech team. The countless hours of guidance she provided resulted in my placing as a finalist at the state championship in dramatic interpretation. I knew then that I wanted to become a speech teacher, just like her. I had to keep the ripple effect going.” – Donna Porter teaches Oral Communications at Picayune Memorial High School in Picayune, MS


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