What made you decide to become a teacher?

I am often asked, “What made you decide to become a teacher?” I have trouble answering this because it’s usually followed by, “It was because of all the holidays, right?”

The answer is no!  I did not decide to become a teacher because of the amount of holidays.  Sure, the holidays are nice, but that’s not a reason to choose a career path.

There are many reasons why I chose to become a teacher:

  • I love spending time with young people and guiding their learning experiences.
  • I love the moment when a child “gets” a concept and you can see the understanding in their eyes.
  • I love the collegiality I experience everyday in my workplace.
  • I love finger painting, and being messy as a form of learning.
  • I love dramatic play, running scared because the sharks might eat me if I stand near the fort!
  • I love listening to little people tell stories about their lives with such enthusiasm and excitement on their faces.
  • I love sharing ‘lightbulb moments’ with parents and watching the smile of pride spread across their faces.
  • I love feeling that I have the power to shape the future.

 

Recently my class participated in the South Western Sydney Regional Drama Festival.  It was a LOT of work, involving two hour long bus trips for rehearsals and a matinee performance and another car trip for the night time performance, not to mention the hours spent completing paperwork! This was time that I was completely happy to sacrifice for my amazing class because the final product was a group of learners who had achieved something they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to do.  All of the students represented our school with pride and performed on stage in front of a large audience, alongside primary and high school students.  

I’d like to share some comments that were posted by parents in our class Edmodo group.  These comments are part of the reason why I do what I do.

 

Well done 1-2 Orange!!!!! Job very well done……. 

I personally enjoyed the night and felt very proud to be sitting in the audience and watch you all perform. Appreciate all the hard work put In Ms Howard. :))))

 

True I couldn’t make it for the evening show, nevertheless, I thought the students were absolutely fantastic! It was such a pleasure to watch and couldn’t help but feel our school displayed the best play of all! Well done students!! You made all your parents proud 🙂 

FANTABULOUS!!!! Ok where do I begin??? Mmmmm Well first of all, I must admit your teacher picked the perfect name for this class….Seriously you are ALL STARS…. I was so nervous watching you all on stage as the spotlight shone and you all had to say your lines….I don’t think I could have stood up infront of so many people and performed with so much confidence as you all did… To be only 6, 7 and 8 and perform on stage and deliver it the way you all did is an accomplishment on its own. 
Second of all, Ms Howard you are an amazing teacher who did an amazing job leading this group onto the regionals. Also, a thank you to Mrs S who also helped out immensly behind the scenes.
Can I just say as a parent I am so proud of what my child has accomplished as well as the rest of the class. Sitting in that audience and watching our group up on stage was a real TREAT…. I loved every minute of it….. ÖH WHAT A NIGHT!!!!
I think we may have some Hollywood stars in the making 😉
THANK YOU to 1/2 Orange, Ms Howard, Mrs S and Mrs N for a memorable night.

 

So, my question to you is, why did you decide to become a teacher?

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10 thoughts on “What made you decide to become a teacher?

  1. As I sit here and type this I ponder as to why I became a teacher and the main reason would be that I love how no two days are ever the same. How students always brighten my teaching day with their responses, actions and candidness to quality teaching and learning experiences. How students eyes light up when they are truly engaged in their learning and how they learn from each other. Teaching in my eyes could never be classified as dull. Even when the work load and pressures from our profession get too much at certain times of the year, I still say to my fellow colleagues I couldn’t image doing anything else. I love my job!

  2. I was failing in second year engineering and was advised by my Professor to seek “other opportunities”. I cast my eye down the list of available courses and settled on something called “Science Education”. Without knowing what it was about I applied and was accepted. It was later that I discovered that the course was for Science teaching. After 7 years of Science teaching I discovered personal computers (in the days of the Apple II) and introduced computers into my school. I soon found myself as the computer coordinator and computing teacher and head of a 1 person computer department. I later completed a Masters in Computer Education (at my own expense and in my own time) and co-authored 9 textbooks on computing, It was a lot of hard work but very rewarding. I am now retired from teaching but am working in a school as a Technology Administrator – getting paid for having fun with computers and communication technology.

  3. Hi Sarah
    First of all, it’s not the salary. I don’t see too BMWs or Mercs in school carparks.
    It must be to make a change and to see others achieve, and that includes our colleagues along with students.

  4. Hi Sarah,
    I love all of your “I love….” comments and completely agree with them all. I remember my first task at uni. Finding an artistic way to explain why I wanted to become a teacher. It was a hard question. I don’t remember the moment I realised teaching would be my future. I think it would have had something to do with my toy blackboard and line up of toys being taught any crazy lesson on my front verandah. It might have been the trip to Africa where I discovered how valued an education can be. Or when I discovered the “light bulb moment” annalagy. I love seeing children’s faces light up when the light switches on and they understand what is being taught.
    As I kept reading this post I felt I was reading my own reflection of this past week. We have just had our schools performing arts concert, which I spent hours organising and I am currently planning a trip away to a combined schools concert. All the effort, time and paperwork is so worth it when I see the smiles on my students faces and the appreciation from the parents.

    I became a teacher for “light bulb moments” and creating experiences that are new, exciting.

    I became a teacher and today I love being a teacher.

    Thank you for the trigger to my thoughts.
    Courtney

  5. Hi Sarah
    I’m painted by the same artist as Audrey – was always drawn to teach and to learn… was a Maths tutor before I left school so it made sense to head off into Maths teaching. To be honest, though, the harder question for me is how we keep teachers in teaching careers! It is certainly not the same job as it was when I started in 1982. John is right – not too many BMWs and Mercs being driven by teachers but I am of the opinion that the relative salary of teachers has depleted in my time, and adding financial pressures to a significantly stressful profession has seen an increase in health concerns for teachers. Tomorrow there is a significant industrial action being played out in Victoria which is symptomatic of the times we live in. Add that to the fact that for many women teaching used to be a family friendly career choice – and I’m of the opinion it is no longer that either!
    So strip away the impression that it’s all about the holidays, and we find that anyone who chooses teaching and wants to actually survive the choice, had better LOVE spending time with the students in their care and be PASSIONATE about learning because it is a profession that ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE!
    Happy teaching!
    Regards, Deb

  6. I became a teacher to make a difference – very idealistic I know, but that was the plan – to get in at the ground level and change the world a kid at a time. For me, I saw how I could make a difference not just in my classroom, but in others and became an Assistant Principal, now across a whole school as a P5 teaching principal.

    I’m at work early in the mornings, and sometimes quite late. I’m at work on weekends and holidays. Those that “get” teaching know we do it because we are changing the world in the best way possible.

  7. Why did I become a teacher?
    Well it was the only thing I ever wanted to do. I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else (once old enough to understand a career; prior to that Park Ranger looked good!).
    In High School I did work experience at the local Primary School and knew that that was what I wanted to be.
    I have always had a great relationship with children and enjoyed the time I have spent with them.
    My biggest fear throughout Year 11 and 12 was that I would crash and burn during the HSC and never realise my dream. Fortunately for me I had a wonderful careers adviser who always bulstered my confidence when I needed it.
    I think looking back, my desire to become a teacher came from the wonderful teachers I had as a kid, those ones that made a difference at specific points in my life when I probably needed it most. To know that if I had the same dedication as they did, I could make a real difference like they did was quite inspiring.
    Also there was that Year 2 teacher I had that scared the life out of me everyday for the six months I was in her class. Despite the fact that she traumatised me beyond belief, she also taught me an invaluable lesson for my future choice as a teacher. Just as a teacher can inspire and nurture, they can also belittle and destroy. Knowing that your actions, words and attitudes can stay with a child for life not only influenced my decision to become a teacher, but moulded the type of teacher I became.
    Ulimately my passion for children and making a difference in their lives was the underlying drive for me.
    I just hope that I have lived up to the example set by the remarkable teachers who taught me and that I have never impacted a child in a negative or detrimental way.

  8. Why I became a teacher is not an inspiring story! I’ve found many more things to like about it since then (as well as lots to dislike unfortunately). I quit my PhD and needed a new career. I didn’t know if I would like teaching, but I had enjoyed tutoring at uni so I thought that I might. I liked the challenge of explaining things to people and the reward of helping them understand something. I found that the PhD (something that nobody else cared about and was helpful to noone) made me lazy and unmotivated and nothing got done from day to day, but I always had energy and motivation when tutoring, because I was actually doing something for someone else. Also I always knew how much difference a good teacher had made to my learning experience, and I wanted to try to be one of those teachers.

  9. It’s simple … I became a teacher to make a difference … to make the world a super place one student at a time. I want to open students up to opportunities. I want to nurture kid natural curiosity so they can understand their world and to wonder and to be amazed.

    I love sharing this learning everyday with students and no two day being the same just makes teaching the best job in the world.

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