Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13

Why do you teach? Why do you teach what you teach? Personally, I have had a long and positive relationship with education. I have enjoyed school ever since I was in preschool, and only in college and graduate school has the number of good teachers diminished. I enjoy teaching, and I like being a positive presence for my students, whether they go into language or not. But I can recall meeting people in college who had terrible memories of school. Some felt they learned nothing, and some could remember a single person who made a change on their lives—a person who encouraged them to be themselves, or a person who encouraged them to apply to college. Others told me about the one teacher who assured the student that they would never amount to anything. For them, a good education was an act of defiance. It alarmed me that others could not think of a single person who made a positive impact on their education. It made me realize that people get into teaching for all sorts of reasons, often a combination of them. 

Would anyone care to share their reasons or motivations? Has it worked out as you thought it would?


  1. Hi Laurel, It will be interesting to see what others believe. You made some sad reflections, & I have some bitter memories of the disaster some teachers made of school for my daughter. Luckily, she had some who were her allies, & kept her going in school enough to see that there was good there as well as bad. I started teaching because I loved children, & I wanted to teach them to love books, to read. I have continued teaching because I love children & want to teach them to love books, to read avidly with a quest for whatever it is they want to know. I also want to help them love learning, for life, not just for school. Thanks for asking!

  2. It was a while ago and even though women were beginning to enter into "traditional" jobs men held, I would say I got a teaching degree because it was somewhat expected. I also did enter into special education because I wanted to assist children to become all they could be. I have held many types of jobs in and out of the classroom, so it turned out to be a wonderful career.