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Teaching is a magical thing. I truly believe it is a calling and so much more than just “a job.” It makes you smile, laugh, and cheer – yet I know sometimes frown or even cry. It is both exhilarating and exhausting, yet I can’t imagine it not being part of my life. I am sure many teachers can agree that it is simply “in our blood.” I am often asked why I became a teacher. All I can really say is I honestly never once thought of anything else that I would choose. I knew that whatever I did would involve education somehow. What I can tell people who ask the why, are some of my favorite things about teaching. These are my thoughts on the best things about teaching. I am curious, what are yours?
The 7 Best Things About Teaching
This may seem cliche or kind of obvious, but truly, I love working with kids. I love their curiosity and love of learning. I love seeing their eyes light up when they realize they can now read, and I even love when their brows wrinkle in frustration while they concentrate so hard on a task they are so motivated to conquer. There have been moments that feel like a zoo in my classroom, yes, but the kids in my room each year are still by far my number one reason for what I do.
I love to learn. I don’t think learning should ever stop, and if we become closed off to learning new things, that is just sad! Teaching is a great profession because in teaching, we learn! I am always learning new research or better ways to do something. Often, I even learn from my students! I think I learn something new every day, and teaching keeps my mind always asking questions and seeking information.
It’s Never Boring
Have you ever been in a classroom? (I am assuming yes.) Well, if you have been in an early childhood classroom – or any grade, truly – you know that there is always something going on. It’s a busy place! From the time I walk in the door in the morning to the time the kids leave, I am definitely on and ready to go. We are always learning and doing (and having fun too!). I know that sometimes there are more “tedious” parts of teaching (report cards anyone?) but generally I find that I am truly never bored!
While I know that all colleagues are not created equal, and perhaps we have all had some that maybe weren’t our best friends, I do find my colleagues to be one of the best parts of teaching. I love collaborating with them, planning together, and sharing our ideas and suggestions with one another. I think having a strong support system of fellow teachers can truly be the greatest thing, and I truly am thankful for mine!
Making A Difference
I guess this one sounds a bit cliche too, but I really do think we make a huge difference as teachers. I don’t mean just in the teaching of academics, but in children’s and families’ lives as well. Think back on your favorite teacher if you have one. Did you like them because of an assignment or task they had you do, or was it something else that made them uniquely special? Probably the latter.
You Can Be Creative
I think teaching is perfect for creative personalities. Even if you aren’t given much freedom to create your own lessons (which I hope you are given some of that freedom), there are still so many ways that we are creative every day. Whether it’s having to make up 10 minutes worth of ways to distract and entertain 25 kindergarteners because your bus is late for a field trip, or coming up with the perfect culminating activity for a unit, we are creative every day, even when we don’t realize it! When we differentiate, plan, assess, and change plans as needed – we are being creative and responsive to our students. I love that teaching feeds the creative side of my brain and allows me to try new things!
Each Year is a New Beginning
I love the cycles of teaching and its predictable patterns. Even though the days are so different and you honestly never know what to expect. I truly think there are predictable seasons in teaching. For example, spring fever is REAL people, I’m telling you. Plus, there is the back to school rush and excitement with sharpened pencils and glue sticks that are actually NOT sticky on the outside. While I love my summers (don’t we all?) there is something about the fresh start of a new year that is always great. It’s like you can shake off the things you didn’t think went so well last year or the feeling that you didn’t do enough, and you are given a second chance! My goal is to teach better each year than the year before, and to keep learning and growing. I hope I can keep that promise to myself!
Sometimes teaching makes me tired, and I know it isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs. However, it truly is like no other profession, and I want to celebrate the great in it!
These are my 7 favorite things about teaching- what is one of yours?