I am a Teacher!
Days are long, class time feels too short, papers to grade, meetings to attend, tutorials to be held, the list of to-do’s is endless. However, at the end of every day I have a smile on my face knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what I have been called to do. I am a teacher!
Making an impact!
Each and every day you enter your classroom and get to teach a group of students who may seem like a motley crew of all sorts! But they love you! They work hard for you each and every day. You see them grow into young individuals throughout the year and see them accomplish and crush goals you have set for them. Witnessing a student achieve something they did not think was possible is the best feeling ever. Pushing them to limits they didn’t know existed and watching them overcome adversity or a struggle is extra special. You know each day as you leave to get into your car that you are making a difference. It may not seem that way on some days, when students are extra difficult, but they will remember you! They will email you years later or write you a letter of appreciation, thanking you for all that you did for them. These students become your “Kids” and take a piece of your heart with them as they leave to the next grade or stage in their life.
At the beginning of my teaching career , I wish I would have created a journal to record all of the experiences I had as a teacher, things that happened in certain classes, certain students, crazy stories that no one would believe actually happened. Creating those stories that turn into fond memories is what makes teaching so great! You get to become close to your students over the course of a year. I mean you are basically one big family! Enjoy the small side conversations you get with your students, enjoy the chaos,
If you get into teaching for just the holidays you get off, you are missing the true joy of teaching. Don’t get me wrong, having all the main holidays off, teacher work days, student holiday’s and most importantly summer’s off is great. The breaks you get are most definitely earned and quite honestly there needs to be more throughout the year. Being able to have off periodically throughout the year allows you to recharge your batteries, and gain perspective. I believe if you did not have the holiday perks you would become burnt out. Every little bit helps.
You may have been in education for years, but you are always learning something. Each and every year that passes, each student you encounter, you are growing and expanding your knowledge as a teacher, friend, co-worker, and mentor. Your students can teach you something daily. Take time to listen to them, be open to new ideas, and constantly be looking for ways to become better. “A great teacher never stops being a student.”
Never the same day Twice!
Depending on what grade you teach, you will have anywhere from 20-80 students. I had anywhere between 60-80. With that many students throughout the day, you never know what you are going to encounter. Each day was greeted with new obstacles, challenges, laughs, and straight craziness. Flexibility is key. It keeps you on your toe, that’s for sure. Each student has their own personality and when you put 20-30 in one classroom together, sometimes your lessons don’t go according to plan. Frustrating at times, but it allows you to learn, grow, and become an overall better teacher. You are never bored as a teacher. If you find yourself feeling comfortable, just step into the hallway during passing period and it will put you back on your toes in no time.
Your students will take a piece of you with them when they go. I sometimes said at the beginning of the year how much I disliked a certain class, and that class by the end of the year ended up being one of my favorites. (You are not supposed to have favorites, but of course you secretly do.) Some of my hardest, most difficult students, the ones who literally made me question why I was a teacher, honestly, made the biggest impact on me. No matter how hard I was on them, never lowering my expectations, they always said goodbye, and were excited to return to my class. That’s when you know you are doing something right. You reach those kids that sometimes others have given up on. I would have students come into my room, which I did not even teach. But I loved it! Each student had a special place in my heart and each one taught me something.
Teaching is a daily choice to be committed to others who are depending on you. “The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters, the hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day.” You will have trials, and stress, but the amount of joy and happiness you get from teaching completely fades out anything else. If you have a heart for children and for educating others, choose teaching! If you want to have the time of your life, Choose Teaching!