10 Reasons You Were Meant to Teach

Vol. 14 No. 2

academicleadership eletter Vol15 No2 teacherhi five

The first months of a school year can be rough, as everyone re-adjusts to more regular sleep schedules and greater expectations. Sometimes, you just need a reminder why you bothered to begin this career path in the first place—and we can help you there.

Reason #10: You can answer the question “Why?” ad nauseam without killing someone.

Curiosity should never be squashed—it should always be explored. To facilitate and guide a young person’s exploration of his or her world is the reason you entered education in the first place.

(“Curiosity is the very basis of education, and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.” ~ Arnold Edinborough)

Reason #9: The spark in a student’s eyes when he or she finally “gets it” is worth the hours of tutoring and strife before it.

You can practically hear the “click” in a student’s mind when all the pieces fall into place and a concept finally makes sense.

Reason #8: You get a small high off a successful student debate.

You have taught your students well enough to not only ask intelligent questions, but to research and defend their viewpoints with facts, poise, and emotional appeal.

Reason #7: School field trips teach you something new every year.

Because you’ve never visited this educational site with this group of young people, you discover new revelations as you experience the trip through your students.

Reason #6: You’re cited as “an authoritative source” in a student’s essay.

You still have to correct the student and have him or her find an externally acknowledged expert in the field to cite, of course, but that warm glow in the pit of your stomach doesn’t go away.

Reason #5: When students outsmart your rules and outlines, you find yourself filled with pride.

Technically, you never said that they couldn’t fill the egg bottle rocket with marshmallows to absorb shock. So, even when the egg does smash on “re-entry,” you celebrate your students’ ingenuity while offering suggestions for their next rocket.

Reason #4: They trust you enough to cry in front of you.

Your students trust you to not take advantage of their vulnerability, instead reaching out to you for guidance and help—a privilege granted to few others.

Reason #3: Students share their successes and failures with you.

You become a part of your students’ lives as surely as a beloved relative. They come to you for advice, as a trusted adult confidante, and as a guide through complicated school dramas. You are asked to be a reference for a college application or internship, and you can speak to that student’s unique accomplishments as only a personal mentor could.

Reason #2: You truly believe in the mission of your school.

Out of all of the schools and jobs available, there’s a reason you picked this school to help with your unique skills and talents. You are part of something that’s bigger than just your career, picking up a paycheck and forgetting about work as soon as you clock out. No, you contribute to the next generation of young adults who will go on to change the world—and remember their school days with fondness.

Reason #1: You love your students, your families, and your colleagues.

… Because, at the end of the day, that’s why you’re in private-independent education: To do the best you can for the next generation by delivering your mission with love and integrity.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Academic Leadership Vol. 11 No. 9 Dear National Teacher Day: A Letter to First Year Teachers
The Source for School Heads
Vol. 12 No. 9 Attracting Exceptional Teachers

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 40 No. 8 Preparing Your School's Families for New Teachers
Vol. 39 No. 11 Highlight Your Teachers' Out-of-School Accomplishments

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