We have talked with over 1,000 teachers over the past 6 months. Teachers get “it.” They understand that life is not about material “things” — rather life is about impact. They understand that seeing a child understand a concept is more important than keeping up with the Joneses. According to Forbes, teaching is one of the happiest jobs one can have. Why? Because of the intrinsic motivation teachers feel by helping students succeed.
So, teachers, why do you teach? After looking through various surveys, literature, blogs, and personal connections, we came up with a list of 8 reasons why teachers teach:
1. Student Potential. Once children reach school age, they spend more time with their teachers than their parents! The impact teachers have on children is beyond comprehension. Teachers love to teach because they see the potential in their students. Schools are full of children who are excited to learn, have wild imaginations, and give the biggest hugs. Helping students reach their potential is one of the most satisfying feelings one can experience. Some teachers even feel like it is their duty to help students reach their potential. Teaching is a calling.
2. To Impact Future Generations. Did you know that one teacher can touch the lives of 3,000 students over the course of a career? The idea of impacting thousands of people on a very personal level is very rewarding for teachers. It truly is an intrinsically motivating career path.
3. Conducive to Family Life. If you have children, the school calendar will typically allow you to have the same days off as your kids. Further, while you might bring work home with you to grade, you will probably be getting home close to the same time as your children.
4. To Learn. To Stay Young. After talking with teachers, we’ve found that some of them went into teaching because they absolutely love learning! Some teachers say they sometimes learn more from their students than their students learn from them. Teachers also have to stay on top of their game. Teaching a subject helps you learn a subject; you become an expert in a field! New material. New ways of teaching. A constantly changing landscape keeps them sharp.
5. Inspired By Challenges. This one was given to us by talking with Trish Fellows. Many teachers get excited when thinking about ways for a student to get “it” — it’s fun and exciting.
6. Love of Children. We’ve talked with some extremely passionate teachers. They’ve told us that teaching is not a “job” — it’s not a “career.” Rather, it is a lifestyle. If you ever ask a teacher how many kids he/she has, they will typically respond with the number of students they teach! Bottom line: Teachers love their students.
7. Fun/Humor. Not only is teaching more fun than sitting behind a desk, but teachers are constantly laughing after a long day of work. Sometimes, kids say the darndest things, but you know what, they also make a teacher’s day.
8. To Give Back. Think back on your life. Most likely, a teacher has helped shape you into the person you are today. Often, a teacher has been there for a student when a student really needed him/her. They want to be that person for a student — a trusted mentor and role model.
To sum it all up, here is a link to some great quotes about teaching. Thank you, teachers, for all that you do.
So, why do you teach? Comment below.