Monday, February 15, 2016

Question 4

This is part 4 of an educators' writing challenge that is making the rounds on the internet. It's called "Five Questions", and the idea is to answer them and then tag some other teachers to try it, too. My good friend and writing group buddy, Ellen, shared her responses and tagged all of us at our recent meeting. 

4. Give four reasons you remain in education despite today's rough culture.

I was 29 when I decided that I should trade my days, or rather nights, of cooking professionally for a career in teaching. To be honest, cooking was a sidetrack, because from the time I was a little girl when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer was always a teacher.

There was a required practicum in the second semester of the masters program I enrolled in to get my teaching credentials; each of us had to spend 40 hours in a school observing. I will never forget the way I felt when I pushed open the plate glass door and set foot on the polished terrazzo floor on my first day. The smell made me stop in my tracks; some magical combination of chalk dust, children, number 2 pencils, oak tag, tempera paints, and textbooks transported me back 20 years to my own elementary school, and I knew that I was in exactly the right place.

Since that day I have never questioned my decision to become a teacher or wished for another career. There have been trying times, yes, but there have been many more wonderful moments with students and colleagues alike that have reaffirmed my choice a thousand times over.

It helps that I am good at what I do. After so many years on the job, I have a knack for finding a good lesson or activity, and it's fun to plan instruction. It's also very rewarding when everything clicks, especially when I get to see kids who are understanding something for the very first time. Minds blown, their eyes widen, and they just can't help smiling, because it is



to learn.

And because it so cool to learn, I love the fact that not only my workplace but my life is actually dedicated to that very amazing thing. Sure, we bicker over the content and methods, but we all really want the same fundamental thing: kids who

and do
and will continue

to learn.

In that respect, I feel like I am both contributing and needed, and so I choose to continue.

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