Why I Teach

A brief conversation took place between a former student (now a freshman in college) and myself on Facebook today. With some editing to protect privacy, it went like this:

Student – The fire alarm would go off right before I decide to go to bed.
Me – Better than right after!
Student – Suddenly a fire alarm before bed doesn’t seem so bad.

This, in a nutshell, is why I teach.

I teach to help young adults understand ideas and concepts that they wouldn’t understand without guidance. I teach to point out different perspective or different methods of examining an issue, question, or problem. I teach to push my students to think in ways that they didn’t know they could. I teach to prove to students that humans are fallible and that, as humans, they are fallible. I teach to help young people find themselves and find where they fit in the world, what they are capable of contributing, and how they can achieve their dreams. Teaching is a pleasure, a joy, and an honor.

Every so often people learn that I’m a high school teacher and tell me, “I couldn’t do what you do!” As I continuously emphasize to my students, we all play to our strengths. I would make a terrible accountant, doctor, engineer, construction worker, cashier, hairdresser, office manager, etc. None of that matters, though, because I have been told by colleagues, parents, and students that I am a “damn good teacher,” which is precisely what I want to be.

No one is good at everything but everyone is good at something. This is an aspect of life that we learn as we get older, when we realize that not everyone will end up on TV, in the movies, on the front of book jackets, or making millions. As we get older and have more experiences, we, as humans, learn to put our efforts where we feel we can be both happy and successful.

I teach in order to help my students feel comfortable with that reality.

10 thoughts on “Why I Teach”

  1. Indeed a fire alarm before bed is the better option only if it isn’t followed by a second alarm right after you’ve fallen asleep. #sophomoreyear #BoothHall #whoBURNSeasyMAC?!

  2. what can we say, all your blogs are just wonderful.. they bring tears to our eyes (with happiness) you know, one day you can put this all in a book.. i know you are going on a trip this weekend, to indonesia right.. be careful.. glad to hear from mom you are enjoying your residence, is it attached to the school? or do you have to go out and drive over.. glad to hear that your new students are behaving and learning.. i think boys are harder to teach.. the weather is still very cold and we are expecting a snow storm starting friday, only 5centimeters so they say.. nothing new, zaidy’s eye surgery went well and now we put drops in 4 times a day for the next few weeks. i’m driving the car untill the weekend just to be on the safe side. he reads the newspaper so all is good.. thats it for now, have a wonderful weekend, love and kisses bubbie and zaidy xoxoxoxo

    1. Good to hear things are good in Montreal! I’m excited that you figured out how to comment on my blog. Just so you know, anything posted on my blog are available for the reading pleasure of the entire World Wide Web 🙂

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