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I Teach for the Money...

Said no teacher ever.

Because we all know that although "we get summers off," no amount of money could ever compensate us for the commitment it takes to really do our job well.

Being a teacher is a calling, one that most great teachers nurture. Starting with a not so subtle love of our content and progressing to a deepening need to make change in the world, one child at a time.

Each day is an opportunity to inspire, enrich relationships and learn collaboratively through a mixture of planning and unplanning and openness to whatever opportunities present themselves.

Over the years, teaching has taught me a great deal about myself as well as my students and learning in general.

I teach because learning is the most essential thing we do as human beings and to be a part of that process is a gift than enriches my life in so many ways.

Here are some reasons why other educators teach:

"I teach because I want to make a difference. I teach because I want kids without a safe sounding board to have(if they choose) someone to talk to who will not judge them or strong arm them. I teach because I love to learn." ~Alicia Archuleta
"I teach to help mold the next generation into ethical, contented adults." ~Andy Fried
"I teach not to fill an empty vessel from my fount of knowledge; I'm not a florist arranging a vase. Rather I'm a mad scientist-chef stirring the schema of my students, bonding connections and helping them to CREATE new thinking and knowledge, that neither my students nor I knew existed!" ~Clinton Wright
"I love learning, every day is a new learning experience. I hope my love of learning is contagious!" ~Lucy Ricardo
"I teach because it is the most direct impact I can have on the future!" ~RT Rolland
"Connections, connecting w Ss and families, making a difference in my community." ~ Kathryn Foley
"I love that everyday is unpredictable and challenging. I love developing the relationships and trust in our classroom. I try to be the role model a lot of my students do not have in their own life. It's the perfect job!!!" ~Jennifer Druffel
"I'm passionate about Ss & their learning. All Ss deserve a T that is crazy about them. I teach Ss first -content second." ~Patricia Bytnar
"To foster creativity, independence and critical thinking skills among my students." ~Christina Greer
"Short answer: I teach because I love to learn. I love to share what I am learning and I want others (particularly teens) to develop a love for learning." ~Natalee Hall Stotz
"I am an educator in order to make a difference." ~Rich Czyz
"I teach because I believe that every child has value to contribute to the world.As a teacher, it is my job to help each child find and unlock his/her true potential and then to help that child build confidence to share his/her skill with the world." ~Deb Aubin
"I teach to help kids grow into themselves, find and use their voices, and make the world a better place." ~Bill Ivey
"I teach because I want my students to see that learning is fun. Always getting better never ends. Learning=journey."~ Jim Cordery
"To make a difference with children, communities and the world." ~Anthony Persaud
"I teach because I believe education is the gateway to freedom and foundational pillar of democracy. It's a role that forces you to be a child advocate and be the voice for those without one while simultaneously empowering children to develop a voice of their own." ~Jed Iden
"To #inspire and to be inspired!" ~April Johnston Riley
"Over the last 15 years my reasons for teaching have changed - or should I say the focus has changed - like many of the teachers above it was due to an amazing 5th grade teacher - Mrs. Bailey- who showed me what learning can be, but much like Ross and Amy I experienced some tough teachers and vowed I would be the teacher kids remembered because they loved that teacher. I remember watching A Bronx Tale and there was a scene where the mob guy says "is it better to be loved or feared" - and i had so many teachers I feared, I promised myself I would always teach out of love. Over the last 7-8 years my focus and reason for teaching has been showing my kids that they can really make a difference in the world and be an inspiration to others - but i still teach because of love." ~Shawn Storm
"I am a student of those I teach. I hope to be the vehicle through which the world can reach them, and in return, the worlds they hope to reach." ~William York
"Never a dull moment as a co-learner and high level of personal and professional satisfaction." ~Christine Jamieson
"Purpose-wise, I am an educator because I foresee the long term investment in our communities and how that can scale upwards to impacting society." ~Eric Nuntrup
"I teach middle school because it was horrid for me. I want to be a bright spot for someone. I also teach middle school because I hope to inspire kids not to give up on themselves. They are capable. I teach because I love kids. I love seeing the light come on. I believe in them. (I also love it because I get to continually learn.)" ~Amy Wrenick Smith
"I teach due to passion for learning and educational process, sharing of the ah-ha moments is similar to building a new product .... But more powerful" ~Todd Block
"I teach because I want to make a difference in the world. I teach because I want to inspire students to greatness.  I teach because students need someone when they have nobody else." ~Nicholas Provenzano
"I love it when people learn something they didn't know before and then when they are able to make connections between the new and things they already knew. I want students to be able to create those interwoven connections of knowledge and ideas and then hopefully branch off to something innovative of their own. As a science teacher, having students realize how things relate to, and affect them is definitely a reason why I teach also. And also that their actions affect their surroundings too. They make a difference." ~ Genie Mitsiadis
"As an educator, everyday I have the ability to change and sometimes even save lives. How many other professions can say that?" ~Cory Radisch
"I teach for many reasons. but some are for the moment when the light bulb goes off! Helping kids realize that it is ok to fail & failure leads to success. You need to fall a lot before you learn to walk. Because everyday is different. Because students always make me laugh and I always love learning from them" ~Elissa Malespina
"To help students become active, competent, compassionate citizens. Teaching is fun, challenging & rewarding." ~Jessica Smith, Ph.D.
"I teach for many reasons... 1. I have always loved working/coaching kids and watching them explore, gain curiosity and confidence... 2. I had some amazing teachers that made learning fun and they were such inspirational people in my life that showed me how great of a career teaching is and I wanted to do what they did. 3. I had teachers who did not make learning enjoyable and I wanted to make sure that students would never have to suffer in a classroom the way that we did in those (few) classes." ~AJ Bianco
"I am a teacher because of my 5th grade teacher Joy Musacchio. She epitomized making learning fun. That was it for me. I was sold. I wanted to make other people feel the way she made me feel about learning. Without my realizing it, she taught me about the importance of the "buy in" - in my opinion, the single most important aspect of teaching. Without it, your perfectly crafted lesson is meaningless."~Donna Caiet
"I teach because I live for supporting learner's a-ha moments. I teach because I am a leaner too." ~Michael Medvinsky
"I think I now view the rewards as something out of sight (perhaps it's my age), but especially in technology I feel like on a good day I can start a top spinning and with hope and inertia it will remain in motion for a very long time." ~Steve Scheiner

Thank you to the many teachers who took the time to answer my tweet or Facebook posts.

If we are going to change the perception of education in America, it starts with telling our own stories of passion and perseverance.

How do you positively contribute to the perception of education? What's your story? Please share it.

*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in February 2015

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