Friday, January 8, 2016

Top 5 Things I Love About Teaching

I have started the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge this week and today I am doing #26 (I am not doing them in order...I pick one out that I want to do each day - HAHA!):
Think about the top 5 things you love about teaching. Write them down and have them somewhere as a reminder when teaching gets stressful.
 So...here it goes.

1. Being around young people.
I became a math teacher because I loved math and I wanted to coach softball. I had seriously considered pursuing a degree in engineering but the coaching part had me move in the direction of teaching. I spent a couple of years trying to be a stay-at-home mom and working part-time. At the end of that time I realized that I was called to teach. It wasn't just a desire that I came up with - God placed a love of young people in my heart! I have had the opportunity to speak at some workshops and meetings this year which required (of course) for me to be around adults all day. They were wonderful people and I enjoyed it...but I REALLY missed my students. I guess I am just a kid at heart!
2. Figuring kids out,
I learned early on that those "strange kids" who dress and act differently are usually some of the sweetest. If you treat them the same way you treat everyone else and gain their trust they will be your biggest fans. I often think that students do some "wild" things just to see if you are going to judge them by their outward behavior/appearance rather than getting to know them.
3. Witnessing growth
I love seeing people grow and improve. As a veteran teacher I have seen that in myself, my colleagues, and my students. It is so rewarding to see students who enter your room without confidence in their ability to do math/school and then in a year their confidence has grown so much. Then I get to see them walk up and down the halls over the next few years and grow in maturity and confidence (in most cases). 
4. Awesome colleagues
I have had the privilege of teaching in 4 different schools. In my experience the majority of teachers are helpful and encouraging. I had some incredible mentors ("teaching Moms"as I called them) when I was young AND now I have some amazing friends/mentors. Most teachers are so willing and excited to share their ideas and resources. Also, now with Twitter and the MTBoS (when I first started teaching I didn't even have Internet in my classroom!!) I have such an even larger group of teachers with which to share and collaborate.
5. Having the same schedule as my own children
When you have school-age children it is an added blessing to be a teacher because most of your holidays coincide. Also, when your children have practices and games you get off work in time to attend them or get them there!