As I lay out tanning on one of the last free days of summer I was reading a fantastic book. “Because of Mr.Terupt” focuses on a fictional teacher and the difference he makes in the lives of a set of students in his class. The story is told in the perspective of the kids. It really made me ponder if I have the impact on the lives of my students that this fictional character has on his.
I teach because I love to see new connections being born. Helping to guide my students to examine a topic discuss it and come to a conclusion. Helping them in the early stages of critical thinking. I am blessed to get to work with 6th grade students. They are right at the beginning of a new stage in their thinking, things become less black and white, they are breaking away from what they are told and starting to examine what they think. This last year we debated many topics. The kids looked forward to learning our debate topic for the week and discussing in their table groups then with others who had a similar stance before we would discuss as a class. Things would get heated at times. But they knew where the line was and everyone respected the rights of others to have an opinion different from their own. This is why I teach.
I teach because seeing students break through and understand something they could not reach before is the greatest thing and I get to see it often. This past year I started using reading journals for the first time consistently. Not the take home logs that parents would rather not sign…I know, it is ok. We use reading journals to record our thoughts, predictions and pretty much anything else we want to related to what we read. One student in particular used hers a ton, she referred back to it often and her comprehension increased as a result. Even better though her love of reading increased. Not all kids, heck not even all adults are great readers but all kids can still love to read it might just take them a little longer to get through the book. This is why I teach.
I teach because not everyone has someone who they can talk to. Who gives them endless chances to succeed. I can do that for my students. Every year I have a few students who struggle with behaviour more than their academics, if it is making friends, controlling their temper or just the regular everyday behaviours we sometimes take for granted become challenges for them. I teach because they need someone who will understand them and not give up. They are why I teach.
Going into this school year I am excited for the new challenges, the new firsts, the new adventures.
This is why I teach.