If you are a teacher, I want to ask you a simple question: Why are you a teacher?
If you are in it for the money, you are in the wrong profession. To be a teacher, you need to be passionate about the profession and know why you are doing it. It needs to make you happy. In fact, everyone ought to be happy in his or her career, regardless of what it is. Don’t lose sight of why you are in the teaching profession and reflect once in a while.
If you’ve read my article, “11 Habits of an Effective Teacher”, you will probably enjoy this one, too! When you are enjoying the teaching profession, you will probably experience these rewards and more.
1. YOU GET TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON LIVES
There is nothing more rewarding than knowing and seeing the evidence that you’ve made an impact on someone’s life or multiple lives. As teachers, we should not seek for rewards and praise. Sometimes, we cannot physically see the appreciation and impact you’ve made but just know that it’s there. This reward on its own should drive you to want to be the best teacher you can be for yourself, your school community, and your dear students.
2. YOU GET TO IGNITE THE ‘SPARK”
Have you ever heard students get discouraged and say things such as:
“I don’t get it.”
“I am going to fail this test.”
“This is so hard.”
“I don’t want to do this.”
These students need their teacher to figure out how they can support them and encourage them. These students need teachers to show them their potential and find out what works for them to learn best. Everyone learns differently and it is up to teachers to find out how these students learn effectively. The feeling you get when these students turn those statements around and into, “I did it! I am so proud of myself,” is absolutely priceless. Don’t let your students give up and never ever give up on them either. We live for those moments.
3. YOU GET TO BE SURROUNDED WITH LOVE
As a teacher, it is so rewarding to go to work and be surrounded by love all around me! Sometimes, during a busy time or stressful day, a simple “I love you Miss” or a doodle from a student on their free time, can instantly put a smile on my face. It is such an honour to be able to teach students and love them while they are in my care.
4. YOU GET TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES
You get to celebrate big and small accomplishments throughout the day and school year with your students. You get to watch your students (current and previous) grow and be proud that you were part of the process to get them to where they are today. You also get to celebrate all of their birthdays with them, which equates to a lot of CAKE and parties! Who can say no to that?
5. YOU GET TO LAUGH ALL DAY LONG
You’d probably agree that kids are hilarious without even trying! One at a time or all at once, your students probably makes you laugh. I don’t know about you but to me, laughter is the cure to a lot of things in life. When you are a teacher, you need to have a sense of humour and joke around with your students. It will brighten your day and the day of others. Don’t get me wrong though, as it is not all fun and games! Of course, your students need to also know when it is a time to be serious versus when it is a time to appropriately joke around. It is important to find this balance with your students to make sure things don’t get too out of hand or noisy.
6. YOU GET TO CREATE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
In most professions, people don’t get to “create” their own environment. They go to work in the environment that has been created for them and that they contribute to. However, teachers get to create their own environment (with limitations). We can only hope that teachers create a positive environment that will enrich the learning that goes on in the classroom. Teachers have the freedom to make the best out of it! If you spend the most of your weekdays in your classroom, why not make the environment as positive, comfortable, and happy as possible? Do it for you and the children who share the space with you.
7. YOU GET TO INSPIRE OTHERS
Whether you do it intentionally or not, you inspire others just for being you. You inspire kids to do their best when you do your best. You inspire your colleagues to work hard when you work hard. You inspire everybody around you to be happy, positive, creative, and energetic when you are. The list goes on but I think you get my point! With that being said, be the best version of you at all times because you never know who you are inspiring!
8. YOU GET TO FEED YOUR INNER CREATIVITY
Since becoming a teacher, I have learned so much about my creative potential that I didn’t know existed. Now, it comes very naturally for me to set up my classroom, create bulletin displays, create engaging lessons and appealing resources, etc. Thanks to teaching, I have a new appreciation for art as well. Now, I can confidently organize events, paint murals, create resources to sell, decorate rooms, and pursue various DIY projects. Through teaching and being passionate about penmanship, I have also started my own calligraphy business as well. Use your teaching experiences to spark your inner creativity because it is there even if you haven’t discovered it yet.
9. YOU GET TO HAVE AN EXCITING DAY, EVERY DAY
Some people enjoy a 9-5 job in an office, which is amazing! However, some have an office job merely because it is a job and it pays the bills. For those people, time might tick very slowly throughout the day. Reflect on whether you are enjoying the work that you do. Don’t let life pass you by without enjoying it. In my opinion, it is very difficult to have a boring day at work when you are a teacher. You always leave work with at least one exciting, funny, or interesting story to tell!
10. YOU GET TO CREATE LASTING MEMORIES TO CHERISH FOREVER
Every year, I look forward to September because I get to meet my new students for the year. I get to learn personalities of 20+ students and how I can help them all reach their potential while the care of these students are in my hands. When the school year ends, I always get emotional because I know I will miss the kids as we all move on. No matter how many years you do this, it never gets old. The feeling of excitement when September approaches will always be there. And as much as it can get emotional at year-end, I am always grateful for the memories that we’ve given each other and what we’ve learned from one another. Some people ask me what my favourite grade or class is but the truth is, there is none. As cliché as it sounds, they are all my favourites.
11. YOU GET TO TEACH
No matter what you do, don’t take it for granted. I know many teachers who struggle to land a full-time teaching position due to a surplus of teachers in certain locations around the world. If you are given the opportunity to teach, enjoy it and give it your all. When you are a teacher, you teach beyond the textbooks. You teach children how to deal with their emotions and how to problem solve. You teach children how to be independent and organized in life. You teach children what matters to them and what their interests are. You teach children how to have good manners and how to be responsible for their own actions. You teach children how to apologize to others and learn from their mistakes/actions. The greatest part is, you teach all of this and so much more without even realizing it. You teach all of this by simply being an amazing teacher who cares about what you do.
This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we've preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer's own.