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50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher

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 summarizes 50 reasons to love your job as a teacher.

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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 my 50 reasons to love your teaching job.

50 reasons to love teaching

  1. Sharing my experiences
  2. Helping inexperienced teachers solve problems
  3. The ability to help children achieve their best
  4. Inspiring them not only academically but personally
  5. Getting up on my stage and performing for them, too
  6. The thrill of a good and well thought out lesson is incomparable
  7. The kids energies; their inquisitiveness makes me want to go and teach them, and push them harder
  8. I love the instant feedback I get from my students about my own performance, even when they don’t realize they’re doing it
  9. Being able to interact with kids who are mostly good and do try to do what’s expected of them
  10. 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!
  11. 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
  12. I love learning and I love the interaction between professor and students
  13. My coworkers are great
  14. I enjoy all of the funny stories that my job provides, my job is never ever boring
  15. When I am finally able to actually teach, I feel very rewarded when that little light bulb goes off
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. I feel smarter every day that I come home from my job; it almost makes me feel guilty that I get paid for this!
  19. Facilitating games
  20. Being able to explore diverse issues and situations
  21. The challenge of teaching a second language in the 21st century
  22. 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
  23. The rare occasion they come back for a visit, it is a joyful reunion
  24. The freedom of the job; I used to be in a cube job where I had to punch a timeclock all the time
  25. 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)
  26. My bosses listen
  27. I like working with teenagers, plus, I learn self assertiveness from teenagers.
  28. I get to work with books, which I love
  29. 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
  30. I seem to be good at it
  31. I get to explore stories and try new ideas and encourage others to do the same
  32. I love messing with their heads
  33. I love how wee the freshmen are and watching them grow into young ladies and gentlemen (in theory)
  34. I love the power of controlling lives – well, at least for an hour or so a day!
  35. I love listening to their ideas and seeing the way their minds work
  36. I love the push to keep learning, to keep discovering new questions and to help students discover their own questions
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. I enjoy sharing my love of learning and my passion for certain topics
  40. It goes beyond just teaching the material — it’s about making a personal connection with the students
  41. 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”
  42. I also like seeing many of the cross-curricular connections students make
  43. Watching the students grow year after year
  44. Recruiting kids into my program
  45. Being creative with the music
  46. 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
  47. Demonstrating the value of long-range planning to achieve crazy cool results
  48. Guiding students to success, both individually and through group work, and marketing those successes
  49. It’s something like a mix of game show host, stand up comedian, dad, vaudeville juggler, and sports play-by-play commentator
  50. 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)
See also  10 Years of Teaching: How Do I Keep My Students Engaged?

So there you have it. What are some of the reasons that you love teaching that we’ve left off this list?

Joel 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.

Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) 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. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

12 thoughts on “50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher

  1. Oh don’t forget, it is also the best paying part time job you can find!

    Keep at it!

  2. Today is a day of wonders, I believe.

    God has granted me 7 students in my sixth grade band this year. At first, I was leary of this because most of them have some sort of learning disorder such as ADHD, for instance. I had all these children when they were in fifth grade general music last year. I didn’t know them all that well because I “inherited” the entire elementary when the other music teacher left after Christmas last year.

    Well, needless to say, the curriculum guides I wrote for this class went out the window because they were written for last year’s sixth grade band, of whom none had learning disabilities.

    So far, this year, two of my students have been trying and trying and sometimes not trying to improve their new-found skills. They understand if I ask them “what note is that?” and other basic music theory terminology. No problem, right? Up until today, they couldn’t play a song to save their lives. Something wasn’t clicking. One of the goals I set up specifically for this class is that each of them become an “independent player” meaning they should be able to play their instruments and parts regardless of who is sitting near them. *Note: 6 of the 7 have some sort of disability whether one wears hearing aids or glasses and has a specific degree of a learning disability. The other child falls within the norm in an average class. I’ve been told that these kids have behavior issues in every class except for mine! That was some good news.

    I have been observing them throughout the process and about 5 of them are officially independent players and can successfully play beauteous music and their part while others are playing different parts. I have 1 sax player who has just made his first attempt at independence with some success. The other is still struggling with playing his notes with consistency. We’ve switched his instrument from French horn to Baritone TC. He has made leaps and bounds of progress in a matter of weeks after the switch. I think it has something to do with the mouthpiece being larger.

    Today, something clicked with all of them. I handed out “Winter Wonderland” for the first time. I wanted to experiment. Something happened and all of them really got into the music and for the first time, sounded like a band! I was so proud of them. The middle school principal came up because she thought I was playing along with them and I wasn’t. She was very impressed. They have a ear for music and one of their goals, they decided, as a class they wanted to learn to play jazz as an ensemble. I told them they needed some background on the basics before we jumped into that. They agreed. This song is kind of the bridge into that world.

    We will be playing that as part of the Christmas Concert in a few weeks. I’m glad this came along because I wasn’t sure what those kids were gonna play. Some have been practicing 1-2 hours a night all semester and are very good and some not so much. One of the things I had considered since I have three beginning bands this year is to include all of them for two pieces and then show off each individual band by itself. That’s time consuming on the audience’s part.

    So, we have a good time in that class on most days and get most things accomplished, I fund it interesting that when given a class of average kids, it’s actually harder to gain control than that of a class with mixed levels of learning. Is this odd? I know that most musicians, past and present, all have some sort of learning disability or can’t related typically unless tis through musical expression.

  3. Very nice list. I linked back to this blog post from my blog about Loving Your Job. Hopefully people can find it useful, regardless of their career. Thanks!

  4. Hi!
    I have just discovered your site while beginning to fill out my application for teacher’s college. You have some wonderful info and ideas here and I cant wait to come back to look deeper. I love reading that you overcame your fear of public speaking-I am very friendly and chatty but the idea of speaking in front of a large group makes my eyelid twitch and my heart pound…Luckily kids dont scare me much, Ive got five of my own! Thanks again!

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