50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher Reader Appreciation by Joel Wagner - November 30, 2007August 5, 201612 In November of 2007, I had Reader Appreciation Month. During the course of that month, I interviewed a number of my readers and gained some powerful insight into what makes teachers tick. This article summarizesÂ 50 reasons to love your job as a teacher. As we come to the conclusion of Reader Appreciation Month, I want to summarize some of the things that we have learned. Today, I’ll focus on some of the reasons my readers have shared with me about why they love their jobs. Edutopia put together a slide show of 20 Inspiring Reasons Why You Love To Teach. But here are myÂ 50 reasons to love yourÂ teaching job. 50 reasons to loveÂ teaching Sharing my experiences Helping inexperienced teachers solve problems The ability to help children achieve their best Inspiring them not only academically but personally Getting up on my stage and performing for them, too The thrill of a good and well thought out lesson is incomparable The kids energies; their inquisitiveness makes me want to go and teach them, and push them harder I love the instant feedback I get from my students about my own performance, even when they don’t realize they’re doing it Being able to interact with kids who are mostly good and do try to do what’s expected of them Sharing my enthusiasm for my subject matter — you should hear me talk to them about why I love Mesopotamia, even more than the ever popular Egypt! I also enjoy seeing their growth over the nine months I have them; they come into middle school as scared elementary students and leave at the end of the year, as (mostly) prepared 7th grader I love learning and I love the interaction between professor and students My coworkers are great I enjoy all of the funny stories that my job provides, my job is never ever boring When I am finally able to actually teach, I feel very rewarded when that little light bulb goes off Teaching grad school, my students are amazingly dedicated teachers, I have the opportunity to travel across the United States helping teachers and schools work at the grassroots level to improve students lives Working with the students; each week, I am invited to do demonstration lessons in K-12 classrooms — I love the range, I love the challenge, and I really love the kids I feel smarter every day that I come home from my job; it almost makes me feel guilty that I get paid for this! Facilitating games Being able to explore diverse issues and situations The challenge of teaching a second language in the 21st century I love getting to know the kids and I especially love having siblings come up and watching the family grow; it is a real privilege to be part of people’s lives like that The rare occasion they come back for a visit, it is a joyful reunion The freedom of the job; I used to be in a cube job where I had to punch a timeclock all the time I have control over my job — I decide what and when I teach, I decide if I am going to stay late, I can take my work home if needed (Though I don’t do that as often as I used to) My bosses listen I like working with teenagers, plus, I learn self assertiveness from teenagers. I get to work with books, which I love I honestly and truly believe that teaching is what I was born to do; maybe God really does plan our lives and if we follow that plan we will be very happy with our lives I seem to be good at it I get to explore stories and try new ideas and encourage others to do the same I love messing with their heads I love how wee the freshmen are and watching them grow into young ladies and gentlemen (in theory) I love the power of controlling lives – well, at least for an hour or so a day! I love listening to their ideas and seeing the way their minds work I love the push to keep learning, to keep discovering new questions and to help students discover their own questions I love kids and I love math; how many jobs can combine them? I guess the guy at the carnival who counts the kids getting on the rides, but he has to clean puke, so that’s out of the question Honestly, I can, in the space of 55 minutes, (on a good day) get booed for telling a bad joke, discuss planetary motion or the etymology of “radish,” clearly explain how a new-for-them algebra technique flows from their previous knowledge, give a challenging extension problem and get some enthusiasm going for it (for math!), help kids who just don’t get it to actually get it, and still find time for a quick game; I feel like a game show host who doesn’t have to fake it I enjoy sharing my love of learning and my passion for certain topics It goes beyond just teaching the material — it’s about making a personal connection with the students I love sharing the excitement of a good book — when I introduce it and start talking about it with excitement, the students can’t wait for me to start reading; when it’s time to stop reading and begin our next lesson, they beg me to read “just a little more” I also like seeing many of the cross-curricular connections students make Watching the students grow year after year Recruiting kids into my program Being creative with the music Transforming students from knowing nothing about how to play an instrument to being able to perform complicated (for them) music by the end of the year Demonstrating the value of long-range planning to achieve crazy cool results Guiding students to success, both individually and through group work, and marketing those successes It’s something like a mix of game show host, stand up comedian, dad, vaudeville juggler, and sports play-by-play commentator It has helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking; I’ve had students tell me that I should be an actor, preacher, and English teacher (I correct grammar frequently) So there you have it. What are some of the reasons that you love teaching that we’ve left off this list? Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.