Why are you a teacher?Answers from the heart only please.

21 Answers

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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It is very hard to separate the person and the teacher.  The values, morals, and methodologies one has as a person and as a teacher intertwine so intricately, that is in difficult to find the exact point at where one ends and the other begins.  The concept of caring is also intricately woven throughout the personal and professional being I am as a teacher.    A person who cares in life is a person who cares in their profession as well.  Therefore, my personal and professional goals as a teacher are inseparable.   As much as caring should be part of my practice, I want to cultivate a caring capacity in my students as well.  I want my students to know that not only do I care about them as my students; I care about them as people as well.  I want them to know I am not here to “do a job” or claim a paycheck.  I am here, with them, because I honestly care about them and their future. I will not be satisfied in reaching only one or two students.  I want to reach them all.  My goal is to touch their lives, their minds, and their futures.

askteacherz's profile pic

askteacherz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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Money; Respect & Career Advancement Opportunity... These are qualities one might find attractive when looking over a job posting BUT any teacher will surely agree you find them in this profession! However, having taught 19 years of US History in Middle School and already looking forward to my 20th there is NO BETTER profession in the world. Every single day a teacher is given the opportunity to inspire others, laugh, learn, have fun and lead. In the teaching profession one can truly change the world in which we live. The rewards of teaching are limitless yet most times unnoticed. At the end of each and every day I go home thinking of ways I can do my work more effectively and in a more motivating manner but totally and completely fulfilled. Teach if you want a self-fulfilling career that does change society; but find something else if you seek financial rewards, societal respect and career advancement...
enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Why teach?  If I've done my job correctly, I've taught someone how to learn.  Learning, as the bromide goes, is a lifelong process, but there's a deep truth to that -- to teach and have a student begin to learn about things he or she may not find interesting means acceptance of the process of learning.  Why is that important? Because the more I've learned, even in topics I don't necessarily care for, the more I've discovered how my existence relates to the workings and events of this planet we inhabit. What I discover about the challenges and resolutions of those who've gone before me serves to inspire whatever challenges I find in my own life, and may give a bit of wisdom into how to meet those challenges. If I can impart the tool of learning to a student, I've shown them how to meet the challenges of their own lives.

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creativethinking | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Many people think of teaching as a thankless, underpaid profession that truly smart people should steer clear of. I had a professor during my undergraduate career actually tell me that I was "too good to waste myself" on a career teacher high school. YIKES. But I am three years into my teaching career and I am adamant about the fact that teaching is the best career on earth, because it is so fulfilling. A teacher gets to literally witness minds opening, skills developing, and children growing into adults. I love coming to work every day with some type of creative approach or new thing for students to think about and discuss. I get to celebrate my love of literature and writing, but more than that, I get to celebrate my students' achievements alongside them. You can't put a price on hearing a sixteen year-old kid say, "This is the best thing I've ever written. I didn't even think I could write something this good." It may sound cliche, but teachers do indeed shape the future one child at a time. Teaching, for those with the willpower to stay positive, energetic, and committed, is an incredibly joyful career. (Oh, and there's plenty of stimulating endeavors for super-intelligent teachers: action research, grant writing, professional development, teacher leadership, curriculum development...)

engtchr5's profile pic

engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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I'd love to give the trite, cliche, and sadly overused answer, "To make a difference," but the real truth is, I like to teach because it allows me a venue for my creativity. Sure, I could become a writer or an artist or an actor, but what other profession allows you to combine all three on a regular basis? Also, there are the intrinsic rewards -- those students whose lives you touch forever, and who come back to see you in 5, 10, even 20 years after they've graduated to say, "Thanks."

I'm also fortunate enough to work at a school where my autonomy is respected as a professional. I don't have micromanagers breathing down my neck or counting the commas in my lesson plans. My work and ideas are given their due credit, even if the pay isn't necessarily that great. Yes, I wish, like so many other educators, that I was paid the "big bucks" for doing what I do, but at the end of the day, it's really not about the money. It's about the overall value of the work itself -- it's about (dare I say it?) making a difference.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I get asked this question all of the time, because I have two advanced degrees. In fact, schools are sometimes suspicious about hiring me because they assume I won't be there long. I have taken breaks from teaching to do research, and in this economy there has been more than one time I considered finding other work. Ultimately there is no alternative. Teaching is in my blood. It's in my heart and soul and as important to me as air. No matter how difficult it is, I know now that I will do it until I can no longer physically stand up and teach. It is my life.
trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Teaching is a job where you can be very creative. It is a rewarding job when a light shines in your student's eyes because you have guided them to understand a concept and go beyond it. It is a calling in my opinion. It is not for everyone. If someone is self-motivated and likes to be(for the most part) left alone to do their vocation without too much interference, teaching is a great career. It can be frustrating at times and stimulating at other times. You get to try things many different ways in the attempt to perfect your craft. You get to be a kid in a sense because every year you get a summer vacation. You also stay in tune with what young people are interested in, which can also keep you young. Teaching is a two way street- you are a mentor and teacher and you learn something new each day.

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megan-bright | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Teaching is a field that I feel that I am naturally talented in. I do extremely well explaining information to students, motivating them, and connecting with them. I love being able to use a wide range of various sources to make lessons engaging. I enjoy feeling like I'm an important part in a child's life.

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I am a teacher because I love teaching, the part where I am interacting with students and trying to figure out ways to help them learn things.  I love English because it gives me the chance to address a huge variety of topics while working on reading and writing skills.  I've realized more and more lately how much I get frustrated by all the other things that go into teaching, grading, meetings, administration, etc. that don't help us when we are trying to help kids learn.  But I love the part with the actual students because it is such an enormous and always changing challenge.

lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I am a teacher because I love my subject matter and want to pass that love (or at least like) on to young people.  I had a couple of great English teachers in high school who inspired me to read, and read well, but more importantly they showed their love of their jobs and the craft of teaching.  I hope that my students can say that about me someday.  I especially like that I teach seniors who are still high school students, but who are ready and excited to move forward with their lives.  I love being a part of that as well.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Okay, from the heart. There are days where I ask myself this question. The teaching profession certainly doesn't pay well, at least not in my school in my area of my state. The hassle and headache of dealing with students who hate school and don't want to be there is certainly challenges that make one question one's decision to teach. However, I teach because challenges or not, I think this is where God has placed me. I teach because I care. I teach because I can. I teach because despite all the headaches that come along with it, I know for some I am making a difference.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I am a teacher for two reasons.  First, I enjoy being around high school age students and I enjoy trying to help them get their start in life.  Second, I think I am good at gathering information and passing it on to students in a way that will interest them (some of them, some of the time, of course).  Both of these reasons are vital to me.

I would not want to be a teacher if I didn't think I was good at gathering and passing on information.  I would feel that I was not doing a good enough job (which I already feel whenever a lesson goes badly).  I would lose confidence and would not want to keep trying.,

But what really makes me positively want to be a teacher is the students.  I have taught online classes, for example, and it is nowhere near as rewarding for me.  I prize, above all else, the students who are still in touch with me 10 or more years after they've graduated.  I prize the times when they say that having me as a teacher helped them.  Those are the things that really make teaching worthwhile.  It is the best feeling to know that you have done something to help a young person have a better chance at success in life.


ahmedrehan's profile pic

ahmedrehan | (Level 2) Honors

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An ideal teacher, above all, should be a good teacher. His teaching ability should be such so as to attract the attention of the students easily. He should teach in a way so that any topic, however hard it may be, can be easily understood by the students.

In order to teach well, the teacher himself should have vast and deep knowledge.

He must be Able to clear away students’ fear of studies and to turn them into store-houses of knowledge without which a refined and higher life cannot be lived.

An ideal teacher should have unbounded love and affection for his students.

He should be one who can be easily approached by them, for he should truly be their friend, philosopher, and guide.

If a student does something wrong and regrets it sincerely, the teacher, instead of punishing him, should deal so tactfully with him that the wrong-dear will ever refrain from doing such things in future.

However, if the fault is genuine and there is no regret for it, the teacher will not hesitates to take stern measures against such an action. He will not allow discipline to be given the good-bye for the sake of showing love to a student.

He should be able to inculcate certain virtues among students, such as regular studies, punctuality, care of health, equal emphasis on reading and writing, perseverance, kindheartedness, and the like.

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sid-sarfraz | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

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Teaching is a profession that I enjoy most. I feel satisfied when I pass on the information I know. It makes me happy when someone understands anything that I teach or explain. I basically like learning new topics and researching on different subjects. I like to learn new things and then pass on to people. By teaching we can make up a person's life or even destroy it. I love solving issues and various problems. 

amp12345's profile pic

amp12345 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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I am a teacher because I want to make a positive impact on students.  I have a geniune love of learning and want to pass that on to students.  When students see a teacher who loves the material and wants to learn more, they become intrigued as well.  This fall, as we have begun learning about various subjects, I find my students taking their free computer time to look up more about the Social Studies or Science topic we were working on at that time.  Seeing this fire lit in them makes all of the hard work of teaching worth it!

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