I’ve kind of taken a week off from soical media – very few Tweets, a post or two on Instagram, a few Facebook posts and likes, but otherwise, I’ve tried to disconnect myself. I’ve needed to gather my thoughts about the school year, my classroom, and my place in the master plan. All of this leads back to why I teach.
As I’ve thought about this, I came across this post from Rebecca Alber titled, “Why I Teach”. In her post, she talks about many different students, the resliency of those students, and how her own teaching has grown over the years.
For me, it’s about Wednesday morning. I ran up to the local town to do a little bit of last minute shopping, and because of I was fairly early, I grabbed breakfast at McDonalds on my way home. The person at the drive-thru was a former student, but not just any student. She was a student of mine in sixth grade, but then hit a really rough patch, eventually dropping out of school. But this student then returned to alternative school, got her GED, and started working at McDonalds. Right now, she’s a shift leader and is working herself forward in the organization.
She is why I teach. She is why I put in the time and the effort day in and day out. She was a tough student, but one who had that potential to do great things. While her road didn’t take the one of a “good student”, she’s on the right path right now. I like to think that in some small way or another, I helped her along that path. 18 years of students, 20 students per classroom, that’s a lot of small helps along the way.
Those small helps keep me going. Each Facebook post, each parent story, each one of those help to show me why I teach. Knowing that out there I’ve helped to guide doctors, teachers, nurses, construction workers, and parents, that brings me a satisfaction that is hard to describe. Yes, the light bulb moments are great and yes I love to see my students do great things in class. But seeing them grow up, becoming productive members of society, that keeps me going day in and day out.