- Teaching in a Pandemic: Help Teachers, Help You - February 2, 2021
- The Importance of Feedback in Distance Learning - October 9, 2020
- What a Teacher Wants: One Teacher's View - March 25, 2018
- Artist is Not a Dirty Word - March 18, 2018
- The Death of Reflection in English/Language Arts Classrooms - March 9, 2018
- More Than A Teacher - March 4, 2018
- Real Teaching Resolutions - January 5, 2017
- 23 Times I have Questioned My Sanity While Teaching - September 7, 2016
- Part 3: Adventures in Real Word English/Language Arts - Let Them Be Great - August 23, 2016
- Part 2: Adventures in Real World English/Language Arts: Making Them Care - August 4, 2016
There are plenty of reasons to leave the teaching profession, but there has to be a reason we stay, right? Every teacher has different reasons for staying, and they are very personal. Some of us have several reasons and some of us only have one. Many people forget that we are human. We need compassion and support just like everyone else. Here are a few reasons why we stay in spite of everything.
1. Economy. We can all agree the economy is awful. There are very few jobs available, especially those that could support a family. Teaching isn’t a highly paid job, but it comes with a paycheck. If that paycheck means food on the table for your family, you do what you have to do. Not many people have a career they love. It is reality. You do what you have to do for your family, even if that means work at a job you really don’t have your heart in.
2. Family. Teaching is a career that can support family time with young children are home. Daycare is very expensive and many families struggle to find places for their children when holidays or the summer months arrive. If you are a teacher, you are home with them if you work in the same district. This is considerable savings, even if you have professional development meetings, a few weeks compared to months of daycare cost. As a teacher, we know the importance of saving where you can. With most careers, you only see your children a few hours a night. As a teacher, you have to opportunity to see them more. While there are lessons to be planned and papers graded, you physically get to see them more than if you had a regular eight to five job.
3. Content. What other job can you teach what you love to a captive audience? We introduce our “art” to our students, whether it is math, reading, science, or social studies, we share our passion with a new generation and hope they love it as much as we do. Not all of our paintings sale, and the bills have to be paid so we share our passion in an art class. Just like not every book we publish sales enough so we can stay at home all day and write, so we share our love of literature. Teaching is not a “second” choice, it is a way for us to interact with what makes us happy, share it with others, and live on the paycheck we are given.
4. The Call. There is a special calling to be a teacher. Many of us do not have a choice. We were born to do it. It flows through us and we just cannot turn it off. We would be miserable in any other profession so we stay. We love the classroom and always want to learn more and show others the way. Helping the future and shaping society is an honor that we take seriously. We would teach for free. (On some days, not all). We all have that perfect age group we connect with and we understand them and guide them for one year and change their lives. To teach means to put your life on hold while you help others find their own path, it is such a selfless and noble act. Many of us had amazing teachers that helped us and we spend our lives returning the favor.
5. Students. The kids. Yes, they are why we stay. They lift us up and we lift them up. Teaching is humanity at its finest. We love each other and it is a family environment. No matter how mad we may get, at the end of the day everything is forgivable. It takes a village to raise a child and we are part of the village. The next generation needs us. Positive influences and guidance from adults other than parents are important in a child’s journey to be a functioning member of society. We are surrogate parents and we love our kids. Yes, they are ours, too.
Whatever your reason or reasons are for teaching, know that you are important. You are needed. It is hard to give one hundred percent to a job that you will not see results from until years later, but you stay. Not everyone says it, but you are appreciated. Continue to fight for yourself, your colleagues, and your students because if we do not fight, no one will. Thank you for staying. Every year, every day you stay is time you used to better someone’s life and you changed the way someone looked at things. Whether you stay in education for one year or thirty, know that you made a difference.