Day 4: Why Bother?

It's Day 4 of the blogging challenge and while it is late, I am working hard to stick to the plan and see this challenge through.  Today's topic is "What do you love about teaching?"  Such an ironic topic for me to tackle at the end of a 16-hour day that included technology nightmares and implosions, angry faculty, Back to School Night, and the obligatory parents who have to corner you and unload because, well, you are there and they are there.  So after that rather depressing intro, I have to  ask myself "what do I love about teaching?" and come up with something positive?  Really?  "Why bother?" some might say.  Well, I disagree!

I think in reality the question is: "What's not to love?"  While today was a truly horrible day:

  • I nearly broke down in tears several times due to a project that I could not deliver on in time for Back to School Night
  • several disgruntled parents found me to unload their frustrations
  • my son lost a tooth and I had to learn about it via pictures since I got home long after he was asleep
Despite these "bummers", I really LOVE my job and can't imagine doing anything else.  There is nothing quite like the moment when a student "gets it", when an alum comes back to say "thanks", when you have the chance to learn with your students, when you are able to help a family problem solve a schedule issue, when you get to congratulate a student on a job well done, when you have the opportunity to collaborate with a colleague on an innovative idea that just might  work (even though it sounds pretty hair-brained on paper), when you get to teach a colleague a new trick--or they get to teach you...the list can go on.

Teaching is by far the toughest job I have ever had (and since this is career v2.5 I feel pretty qualified to make that comparison), but it is also the most rewarding and the most enjoyable.  Yes, there are tough days but we all have them.  I don't care what you do for a living.  It is when you look beyond the ups and downs and focus on the essence of the job.  That essence is helping others.  We are taught from a young age that it is better to give than to receive.  Educators live that mantra and that is why I bother and that is what I love about teaching.


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