So have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I a teacher?” Or have other people asked you, ” Why do you teach?” What do you say? I have told people it’s because I love being around children. I enjoy seeing the look in a child’s eye when they finally get “it”. To change a child’s life. Be that positive role model for a child. I’m sure you have heard all of these responses before and have probably said many of them yourself. Unfortunately these moments don’t happen everyday. Sometimes it seems these moments are few and far between.
So why do I teach? Is it worth it? I have really been struggling with this lately. This is my lucky 13th year of teaching. I switched grade levels this year and feel like a brand new teacher. Everything is different, harder, faster pace, and I’m struggling. I talk to my coworkers, friends, and family (that are also teachers) and they feel the same way. So what is the problem?
These are the struggles I’ve seen or heard others struggling with this year.
- new curriculum
- classes too large
- not enough resources
- students are 2 or more grade levels behind
- students don’t qualify for extra help because their IQ is not high enough
- no parent support
- no food to eat at home
- kids are homeless
- students are disrespectful
- they don’t pay attention
- meetings, meetings, and more meetings
- assessing, more assessing, then assess how the kids did on the assessment
- teaching kids how to take a test
I found this on Pinterest.
So, why do I teach? Many days I question myself. Then yesterday a kid asked me if I remember her cousin (a student I had several years ago). The girl said, “She loved your class. You’re the teacher that did the cooking in class.” Hmm. I used to do a lot of cooking and until, one of those excuses above stopped me. A student from last year hugged me today and looked at me with those eyes of appreciation. Did I mention I got a lot of hugs today from former students and parents. It’s like they knew I needed them. Then a former (challenging) student that has struggled his whole life with a disability did an amazing feat today. As he achieved it, I begin to tear up. I couldn’t stop cheering for him. The whole school was clapping for him. What an awesome moment for him. He even gave me a hug! (by the way he hated me when I had him)
Don’t Give Up
We may never know the impact we have in a student’s life. You may never see those kids get “it”. I can’t let those excuses above get in the way of why I began teaching. So if you’re struggling like I’ve been, don’t give up. Remember why you became a teacher. There is a great video you should watch. I know you will enjoy the “pep talk”.