I love teaching.
I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I was in fourth grade, I wrote a poem about becoming an art teacher (my 9-year-old self thought highly of her art skills!). More than a decade later, as I was in my pre-student teaching work, I went back and volunteered for my fourth grade teacher (who was now a first grade teacher) and she pulled out that poem. It was a very powerful, affirming moment!
Anyway. Like I said, I love teaching. I love watching kids grow, watching lightbulbs go on and fireworks explode. I love the opportunity to be creative in my teaching, and encourage creativity in students. As a tech coordinator, I focus more on teaching adults, and though the learners may be older, the lightbulbs and fireworks still make my heart sing. It brings a whole new level to teaching, and it feels more like empowering others to uncover their talents and abilities.
My first thought was, why would anyone in this day and age choose to go into education? I mean, when I joined the world of education, teachers had a lot more respect, had a lot more flexibility, and overall, had a lot more support. Now, education (like most of the world) is short staffed, but unlike the rest of the world, more and more gets piled on the plates of schools and educators, and nothing is taken off. Teachers and educators are leaving the field in droves, more than ever before.
My second thought was that I can't see myself doing anything else. I love teaching. I love working with people, especially children. I love the dialogue that happens in discovering new things, trying new skills, and exploring new topics. I love being a part of a school community- I look forward to seeing my colleagues, sharing celebrations with them, watching their families grow. I love being challenged to try new things myself, to look at things from a different perspective, and to step out of my comfort zone.
In short, teaching makes me feel like I am making a difference in the world.
And that sense pushes me to keep going, even though things are rough in the world of education, I know I'm impacting those in my school, and hopefully, the community (and world?) at large. It makes my heart happy to watch other people learn and grow. It even makes the grey hairs and sleepless nights almost tolerable. Almost.