Elaborate "aha moments" coupled with the unexpected, makes education a very exciting field to be in.
However, the day to day of planning and mundane paperwork can take us away from the parts we love most.
During this time of year in particular, once we are through the first half and not quite near the end, we drag as the kids hit their lull and it's time for a little reminder.
Many times I hear young people say that they would never want to teach and so I try to engage them in a dialogue about why. Eagerly I listen to their misconceptions about the career or the poor pay for the amount of effort and although there is a part of me that feels like I need to change their minds, I smile and work harder to show them why it's actually the best profession there is.
As teachers, we have the opportunity to touch the lives of many people, helping them connect with what they are passionate about and get them on a path to their future dreams. What's better than that?
Aside from the relationships we develop, teaching never gets boring. Every day is an adventure filled with the unexpected. Learning experiences around every corner and not just for the kids, for us too. After all, teaching challenges the core of who we are people, pushing us to try to be better.
Here are some thoughts from other educators about what they love about teaching:
(Crowdsourced from Twitter and Facebook)
BSarv - "It is the most important role in any society and I get to be a part of building wonderful lives. There is no room for mediocre."
Stephen Hebert - "I get to build relationships and never stop learning. What could be better?!?!"
Benjamin Lewis - "for this I need 140 pages, not characters. Simplest terms... I truly feel I'm making a difference."
Kelly S. - "I teach to share passion for life science + PIF for the teachers who shared their passions w/ me!"
LeanePL -"That feeling of pure magic when a lesson just 'clicks'" Julie Clark - "the kids"
Kathy Dettmer - "The cat explosion noise the students tend to make when I have blown their minds with a bit of info #adjunctlife"
Rebecca Taylor -"Instilling faith in students and a self-belief that they can succeed then watching them grow."
Jessica Langerwalter - "Connection with students and collaboration with fellow teachers!"
Jennifer Boyd - "With teaching, every day is different and I love the moment when the lightbulb comes on!"
Elissa Malespina -"I love it when I see that spark in the kids' eyes when they get it. I also love when they come running into the library so excited to show me something they have just made using technology I taught them."
Mercedes Anderson - "Seeing kiddos 'get it' in anything, but especially in math."
Stacey Winslow - "making connections with kids. Watching them learn and grow."
Donna Pitts - "I love empowering Ss to have great discussions and seeing passion and creativity ignite!"
Patti Andreolas - "I love seeing kids develop the confidence to believe in themselves!"
Aaron J Penton - "Teaching allows me to be an actor with a captive audience that always comes back for more "
When times get tough, I find it essential to reconnect with why I teach and what I love most about it. These simple reminders make all of the challenges a little more digestible. I mean what other profession do you get to take risks, fail, reflect and learn and then get to start over fresh the next day with that new perspective?
Mixed in with the routines and rituals of teaching (and there are surely many of those too), the unexpected lies in the minds and mouths of each and every one of children. What an incredible honor it is to share that with our students!
So next time you're feeling low, pull out that thank you note you saved from a former student, reach out on Twitter to other teachers who get it, or pause and take some time to just sit with kids and listen.
What do you do to reconnect with the joy of teaching when you get down? Please share
Teacher Appreciation is Every Day NOT just one or two weeks a year.
*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in February 2016.