As we head back to school after another summer break has come and gone, there are many discussions about the wellbeing of teachers and stories of mass resignations across the country. While these are important conversations to have, especially if we wish to increase teacher satisfaction levels and improve teacher retention rates in the new school year, we should also remember to take a few moments to focus on the good!
The current climate in education in the US is challenging and it is incredibly difficult to be a teacher right now. Revisiting the reasons why teachers joined the profession in the first place can help renew a sense of purpose and reinvigorate a passion for teaching. Motivation can be even trickier to muster up at this time of year, on the precipice of a new school year and term.
For that reason, in a bid to spread some positivity in education discussions, this blog will focus on some reasons why teachers love their jobs. These are all quotes from our teacher friends across the US, including some of our very own Education Consultants. We’ll start off by providing a summary of the main reasons we found teachers love being teachers. Keep reading to read the quotes for yourself!
So, why do teachers love teaching?
The top five reasons why our teacher friends love being a teacher are:
1. Helping students learn new things
One of the main responsibilities of a teacher is to help students learn new things, from math to French, from social skills to relationship building. Luckily, this is also one of the main reasons why teachers love teaching! For example, Whitney says that: “there is nothing better than a kid using a term or concept that you taught them months ago in a way that makes connections to a new concept”.
2. Helping young learners grow
Whether you’re working in a kindergarten classroom or teaching high schoolers about to leave for college, as a teacher you’re a key adult in the academic, social, and emotional development of all young learners. This of course means that over time, teachers don’t only see their students increase their academic capabilities, but also watch them grow into young adults. This is one reason why Kelli loves teaching, saying that “instilling confidence and skills in students that would make them flourish and thrive when it was their time to leave me or the school and enter the great big world”.
3. Doing meaningful work
Another aspect of teaching that makes teachers proud is the fact that they’re waking up every morning to do meaningful work. “Teachers are change-makers,” says Paola, “Teachers water seeds even when there is one drop of water”.
4. Cultivating relationships
Building relationships with students is also another common reason why teachers love their job, but it’s not just teacher/student relationships that make teachers proud. For example, Kayla notes that “forming meaningful relationships with students and their families” is one of her favorite parts of teaching. Cultivating relationships between school staff, such as teachers, and external community members, such as families, is a vital component of a positive learning environment and helps young learners feel a sense of belonging in their community. Faith particularly loves building relationships with teenagers and stresses that although they often have a bad reputation, they are in fact "open, bold, passionate, and empathetic while navigating a critical part of their emotional development".
5. Learning and growing as a person
Last but certainly not least, our teacher friends love being a teacher because it helps them learn, grow, and develop new skills themselves. Paola describes teaching as a “never-ending process of learning human hood”, which is a fantastic way to describe the profession. Similarly, Mike notes that teaching has allowed him “to learn and grow along with the students through reading and writing” and notes that exploring “so many diverse texts/topics/writers that are always changing from year to year” is a great way to develop as a person and teacher.
Want to read what they had to say in full?
Here are the 21 quotes from our teacher friends.
I love teaching as teachers are change-makers! It’s a job where you focus on the potential, see things happening in children/students in front of you, and while keeping that vision, changes occur. Teachers water seeds even when there is one drop of water. Teaching is the faith of planting trust and power, believing in children as the key to social and economic evolution, and believing in humanities. I feel so privileged to have embarked on the path of education and grateful to have met every student on my way; indeed, they made me who I am today, together with all the people I had the luck to work with. Teaching is a never-ending process of learning human hood.
- Paola Mileo
What I love the most about teaching is watching students grow academically, socially, and emotionally, as well as forming meaningful relationships with students and their families!
- Kayla Manske
I love teaching because it's truly meaningful. But, there is nothing better than a kid using a term or concept that you taught them months ago in a way that makes connections to a new concept. It's fun when they get into a state of flow and engage fully in the subject matter. Also, when they thank you for teaching them or they tell you that you made the subject fun for them, that isn't half bad either! :)
It’s the “a-ha” moment for me. It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching a 6-year-old to play the piano, a 50-year-old how to use their skill set to embark on new innovations, or even working with my own children- I love the opportunity to turn others’ passion into their purpose!
- Amber Moss
My favorite part of education was instilling confidence and skills in students that would make them flourish and thrive when it was their time to leave me or the school and enter the great big world.
I love teaching because of SUMMER BREAK! (ok kidding, although that doesn't hurt). My real answer is that I love teaching because I have the capability of being a positive light in the lives of students. I'm able to give them a safe person to speak to and lean on and an adult who is truly there for them as a person. It also allows me to learn and grow along with the students through reading and writing - we explore so many diverse texts/topics/writers that are always changing from year to year.
- Mike Wilpiszeski
I love teaching as it’s a job where no two days are ever the same, watching the development of students grow from one month to the next and finally the light bulb moment when they just get it, especially after a while.
My favorite part was definitely building relationships with the students. Teenagers get a bad rap, but (newsflash) they are open, bold, passionate, and empathetic while navigating a critical part of their emotional development.
My favorite part was building relationships. Being someone's teacher gives you a unique voice and platform to speak positively into their life.
We also asked Kelli Helle, one of our education experts and a passionate teacher, to speak to some teachers at a school in Orlando, FL. Here’s what they had to say…
I love seeing the kids gain confidence throughout the year, especially those who think they aren’t capable. I’m here to let them know they can.
I love seeing kids get a concept, like when they finally read for the first time.
I love seeing all of the different personalities of each student.
I love when kids get excited about reading.
I love when a student's face lights up during learning.
I love when a student discovers new things for themselves, without my help. I like to instill critical thinking skills.
I love that teaching gives us a good work-life balance. And that I can keep the same kind of schedule that my own children keep.
I love being around children and watching them as they grow.
I love the 'aha' moment. I love when weak students become strong and when students work hard.
I love being able to change lives.
I love having a part in shaping a student's future.
I love when a student messages me years after having me as a teacher and lets me know I made a difference because I cared.
Thank you to all the teachers interviewed for this article!
Do you agree with these reasons? What’s your favorite part about being a teacher? Let us know by Tweeting us (@satchelpulse)!
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