In Why I continue teaching… Paul Bogush shares,
“I see many folks coming into teaching never have experienced that feeling of autonomy, of trust, that feeling that they can create powerful learning experiences for their kids without the district or state giving them plans and telling them exactly what to do. What I especially see, are teachers who have never experienced excitement in school as a kid. Test prep is all they have ever known. Standardization is all they have ever known. Decisions have always been made for them.”
This was very powerful for me! It made me reflect about my reasons for teaching. Five years ago, I retired from teaching in public school. Now I teach on the university level, give presentations at conferences, and offer professional development seminars at schools. Everyone asks me constantly why I continue teaching since I retired.
I feel the need to share my passion. Teaching was not just a hobby or a career but a dream come true for me. Once I achieved the goal of becoming a teacher, each year as I saw positive changes in my students, they fueled my desire to stay a teacher. Yes, I faced frustration with administration, paperwork, and testing but it was all about the students. They were people and unpredictable. They were also a priority over the administration, paperwork, and testing. Like Paul, I’m not sure the new generation understands this concept. They seem to talk the talk but not necessarily walk the walk and seem to just be giving lip service to the powers that be.
As I was growing up, fairy tales were passed on to children. I remember having people read them to me until I could finally read them to myself. I see movies being made of some of these fairy tales. Unfortunately the joy and passion of teaching feels like it is becoming a fairy tale. I want to make this a reality for the teachers of today. I want them to see beyond the mechanics of teaching and get down to the real life impact they are making. Teachers today are getting too bogged down with the mechanics that they are missing the joy.
That is why I continue to teach. I want to share the passion of teaching. If I can help teachers get below the surface of teaching and get down deep into nitty gritty, they will see the joy. Maybe this will help society keep teachers more than five years. Maybe they will grow deep roots and stick with this honorable profession. I refuse to give up. I refuse to let politics, the burden of heavy paperwork, the ridiculous policies that stifle teacher creativity, and the absurdness of regulations made by people who don’t have a clue, stop me from sharing the joy of teaching.
If you are a teacher, please share why you continue to teach, either in the comment section or in your own blog (just send me the link so I can read it!). Please share.