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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What keeps you going and motivated?

What keeps you going and motivated?

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The education field is not always what is envisioned when we are in college. The utopia idea of coming to school and all students learn at the same level is far from the reality of the situation. As educators, how to do you stay motivated through the politics, push on state standards, paper work, behavior problems, lack of parental involvement, and more?

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April's picture

I often find myself getting frustrated with the state of our schools and sometimes wonder why I continue on in this profession. However, it doesn't take me long to realize why I continue to teach. I love being with the children. I want to make a difference in their lives. I want to encourage them to be the best that they can be. It's so easy to get distracted and forget just exactly why you teach, but after a few minutes of reflection and just sitting and watching my students reminds me why I am a teacher.

Jamie Kessen's picture
Jamie Kessen
3-5 Grade Special Education Teacher from Indiana

I must say what keeps me in this profession is the students. I know that I have a chance to change a kid's life for the better. Some of my students' home-lives are not ideal in any way, shape, or form. There is not anyone at home to push these students or to show these students what opportunities are in the world for them. I can show these students that they possess so many great skills and they have the opportunities to reach goals and dreams they have set for themselves. When the students finally see that they can do well and start achieving little parts of their goals, it makes my heart swell. I can see the difference I have made in their lives just by the look on their faces.

Melanie Loring's picture

All of your comments are fair and I agree. I often too have days where I question my effectiveness and question why I am a teacher. Then I have those days when I hear a comment from a student out of the blue like "I never understand math until this year" or "No one has ever helped me realize the connection here" or I do not hear anything from students but I see challenges being overcome or problems being solved without my assistance. It feels like a ton of bricks and I am reminded- this is why- that is why and if I could do this again for another student. AT this point, my motivation increases and my determination takes over. It goes in cycles, up and down. The ebb and flow is the energy I enjoy so that is what keeps me going and motivated as a teacher.

Mrs. Greer's picture

My students keep me motivated. Their will power to learn motivates me to teach them not only what they need but more.

Kristi Horne's picture

I think that while teaching subject matter and content area is important, being a person who believes in a student is as important. What keeps me going is the thought that I may be the only person in a child's live that cares enough to push them, guide them, encourage them, and love them.

Kristi Horne's picture

I think that while teaching content areas and subject matter is important, it is equally important that your students know you love them and believe in them. What keeps me going is the thought that I may be the only person in a child's life who cares enough about them to push them, encourage them, correct them, and love them. I want to be the teacher that they one day think back on and they KNOW that I cared.

Kate Ehrenburg's picture

My Students keep me motivated. Some of them do not come from the best homes and do not get the love and support they deserve. This also keeps me motivated. I want to give them as much support as they need to succeed. Other teachers also keep me motivated. Teachers who have affected my life in both positive and negative ways, both help me maintain my positive attitude towards teaching and learning in general.

B Duncan's picture

I feel empowered and motivated to keep going and pushing for high achievement when I review test scores and see the growth that my students have made.

Brad's picture

What keeps me going as a teacher and coach is that I can have a positive impact on my students and athletes. So many of these kids need good role models and I know that I everything that I do gets noticed by them. This gives me the motivation to do a good job and show them the right way to do things.


Molly Whitmer's picture

I received an e-mail from a former student. I taught Sarah in third grade and she is now a junior in high school. She told me I was still her favorite teacher and that her favorite thing she learned were all of the silly songs we would sing to remember facts or get reenergized throughout the day. But, her favorite thing about my class was that I always smiled! It made my day! I think experiences like this are one of the many reasons we keep teaching!

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