My summer “vacation” is done, kaput, finished. It went by so fast, and I didn’t really have a chance to relax. However, I am glad to be going back to school, today. I miss my co-workers (well, most of them). I miss the students. There are some that I’ve had for the past three years.
In honor of the new school year, I’d like to give you the top ten reasons I love teaching (most days, not including the stress of June…yes, it is very stressful). This is in no particular order.
10. I love seeing the students grow from awkward freshmen to slightly awkward, but much more mature seniors.
9. I love to see the lightbulb moment students have when they begin to understand how to read critically, not just staring at the words on the page. (They get really happy, too.)
8. The genunie, sincere notes I get from students. Those notes help me get through the days when I feel like I’m talking to a wall.
7. The involved and caring parents my school is lucky to have. Believe it or not, the reason why a lot of schools “fail” is because parents think their job is done once the child leaves the home. A lot of parents don’t talk about important national and world issues or about the importance of an education…the type of education that goes beyond just sitting in a classroom (which isn’t education at all). Sadly, in many homes, regardless of socioeconomic status, many children come home to an empty house or parents who do not really engage their students.
6. That I don’t have to sit behind a desk, staring at a cubicle. I used to be a cubicle-dweller. I couldn’t go back to it if I tried.
5. I love knowing that my presence in the classroom means that kids do have a fair and earnest teacher.
4. I love to hear teachers brag on their students and praise the kids who have struggled, but have shown improvement or a strong work ethic.
3. Constantly learning and trying to improve as a teacher.
2. Witnessing the carefree innocence of youth.
1. Witnessing the students’ pure desire to see a better world and to handle it with care. (I teach some special kids.)