We so often hear about the horro stories, let's hear a few times when we realize how awesome it is that our labor of love is teaching!
When we get to talk all day about stuff we love: Teaching allows us to continue and deepen our love affairs with Steinbeck, Lee, Shelly, and the art of a skillfully crafted argument. What other job could give us this kind of satisfaction?
When a kid thanks us: Teens and tweens are often the first to complain that we expect too much, that we push too hard, and that we assign too much reading. However, when the hard work pays off and the high expectations are met, they will often be the first ones to thank us and those two simple words mean so much from them because they are hard earned. I keep a stack of meaningful student thank you notes through the years in my desk drawer to remind me on hard days that the work pays off!
When we get free things with our teacher ID: There is no denying that teachers are underpaid for our extensive hard work. And you better believe I'll be there when starbucks is giving a free coffee, the theater is giving a teacher discount, or chipotle is giving a free burrito. It is the least they could do for us, right?
When we get a certain autonomy: Of course we take mandates from (and sometimes do battle with) administrations, legislators, and textbook publishers, but for so much of the meaningful instruction, we are the queens and kings of our classrooms. We build spaces conducive to learning, we plan carefully, and we interact authentically and we do so for the most part with our own style.
When a kid gets it: Hands down, the best part of teaching for many of us is watching the ah-ha moments. Just one student lightbulb moment can recharge a weary teacher for months.
What is the best part of teaching for you?