Why I Teach: A Portland-Area High School Teacher Reflects

Reblogged from GoLocalPDX

As a new school year begins, I think it’s important for every teacher to answer the question: Why do I teach? This year, this is my answer.

When I reflect on the circumstances that led me into teaching, there are three main things that happened to me prior to declaring as an education major in college.

First, when I was 17, my father told me that when I went to college I should earn a degree that came with a title. For example, if I were to major in business I wouldn’t leave college as a businessman. But if I had a degree in education, I would exit as a teacher.

Second, my senior year in high school I had an English teacher named Trece Greene who made her job seem important, fun, and honorable.

And third, I took an intro to education class as a sophomore in college and I loved it immediately. Path set.

The reasons I stay

Now after 20 years in the classroom, I look at the reasons I stay.

First, I want to provide for my family and after so many years, and an advanced degree, I can do so with the help of my wife’s fulltime office job. But I know that most people have it rougher than I do.

Second, I love my job. I can sincerely say that I look forward to each and every day spent with students in the classroom.

Third, it’s the light bulbs. When a person all of a sudden has an epiphany and figures something out, light bulbs appear over their head. I love seeing light bulbs in my class.

Fourth, I teach because there is honor in my chosen profession. Serving 150 students in my classroom and the other 1,400 in my school is a task that I take seriously. When a parent releases their child – the most important thing in the world to them – to my school and also to me for guidance, instruction, mentoring, compassion, and a myriad of other roles which can pop up, I don’t want to let those parents or children down in any way.

Read more>>