On why we teach…

Why do teachers teach?  What makes us get 4-year degrees, Masters Degrees, Educational Specialist degrees when we know we won’t be paying them back in a timely manner.   We don’t negotiate raises or threaten to leave systems unless they pay us more (usually), and we certainly know we won’t be getting rich.   

I heard someone say in a meeting today, “I just want to teach a little “(subject)” and get on with my life.    And this totally blew my mind.    I love literature; I am grateful I teach literature to teenagers; I even love writing.   BUT when I wake up in the morning my goal isn’t really to just teach a “little reading” and get on with my (real) life.   Don’t misunderstand… I teach my Common Core State Standards and I am thoroughly ecstatic when my children “get” what theme is & understand the subtleties of character….   but my purpose is not theme or characterization or complete sentences.   MY purpose is helping children  teenagers become young adults who aspire to be “something” when they become full-fledged adults.   My purpose is to make sure that my kids have a safe place for a few hours.   My purpose is making sure that there is still good in the world (and maybe add to it) amidst all the evil & malevolence & just plain disinterest “out there”.    

My purpose is to give my kids a future and a purpose.

Lesson for me:

1.  If you generally love dogs/cats more than people…. don’t teach.

2.  If you want to be rich… don’t teach.

3.  If you want to have a name/title… don’t teach.

4.  If you want to create a better future…  TEACH!


Why are you (not) teaching?



One thought on “On why we teach…

  1. We teach because we are nuts! Just kidding. Most people I know teach for one of two reasons 1) because years ago, a great teacher inspired them. or 2) because years ago, they had no one inspiring. Either way, both options lead us to the same conclusion: to love and inspire our youth.

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