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Why I teach

August 16, 2010

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.  ~John Dewey

In two days I report back to school for another exciting year teaching third grade.  The beginning of the school year lends itself to personal reflection and self-analysis.  For me, the road of self-reflection led to the question, Why do I teach?

I know that some teachers knew that they wanted to be teachers their whole lives.  That is not me.  I was not sure that I wanted to be a teacher until my senior year in college.  It was that year that I began to really ponder and evaluate the prospect of being an educator.  Even so, I did not think, at that point, that I would want to teach in the elementary setting.  My B.A. was in History, so I was thinking that I would teach high school history.  I loved my eighth grade U.S. History teacher and so the evolution began.  But my path changed rather quickly.

My older sister, who was concurrently teaching second grade, asked me to come by and help in the classroom.  I loved it!  From there I applied to graduate school for a M.A.T. with an emphasis in elementary education.  Once in the classroom, it did not take long for me to realize how much I loved being a teacher.

So, why do I teach?

I teach to help.  I teach to inspire.  I teach to learn.  I teach to discover.  I teach to make change.  I teach to make connections.  I teach to empower my students.  I teach to fail and succeed.  I teach to engage minds.  I teach to develop creative challenges.  I teach to enable my students to do things I never did.  I teach to see things through a different lens.  I teach to grow.  I teach to better my students.  I teach to better myself.  I teach to see diversity.  I teach to build hope.  I teach to be a leader.

Teaching is my passion.

Why do you teach?  If you asked your students why you taught, what would they say?

A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.  ~Author Unknown

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Melissa Techman permalink
    August 16, 2010 4:12 am

    I teach because it matters and when it comes to encouraging the love of books and supporting curiosity, it matters a lot. I also teach because I get a daily fix of student artwork ( I love it!) and it’s so much fun to talk to students and learn with them. The library is a busy and interesting place for them and I hope that they’ll internalize that spark of interest in the world and how people invent stories and analyze information – so their lives will be richer.

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