I was asked a variation of that question today. Those might not have been the exact words, but that was the gist of the question. “Why do you teach?”
I thought about it for a minute. It’s such a simple, yet complex question. It’s only four words. It’s so much more than four words.
My answer went something like this… I teach because this the most important profession in the world. That’s not to slight any other profession. We have seen during this pandemic how important doctors, nurses, and first responders are. But those professions and the men and women who fill those positions needed to be educated in their field. Everything is built on education. If you want to become a professional poker player, you have to learn how to play poker. If you want to be the CEO of a company, you have to learn about business and the market you’re serving.
Every year approximately 25 students walk into my fourth grade classroom. I have 180 precious days to impact their lives and give them a quality education. That’s a very daunting and humbling task. It is, however, what gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps me up at night. How can I reach the “unreachable” student? What is the best way to teach this lesson? How can I differentiate this concept so it is accessible to all students? What other materials do I need? Which parents do I need to connect with on a certain day? Which student do I need to connect with today?
There are days that are exciting. There are days that are terrifying. There are days that make you want to cry tears of sadness. There are days that make you want to cry tears of joy.
Why do I teach?
Because there are 25 students who need me next year.
There are students who need you next year.