Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why do I do what I do?

I don’t know some days to be honest. It’s been rough. It’s a hard road to travel. But you know what? Even on the roughest days, I love them. I may not want to deal with them, I may not break through today, but I love them. I want them to get better. I want them to develop the skills they need to survive and thrive. I love them.

I teach hard kids. I love them.

On days like today, it is very hard to rationalize the level of education, the level of desire to continue to learn and be better, the energy that is needed, the stress level, the pay, the everything. So many hoops to jump through, obstacles to bypass, but I love them. I must. I love them.

I was lurking on a recent #edchat about why teachers leave within 5 years of entering the profession. This seems to be a hot topic lately. I saw it in #edchat, I’ve seen a lot of articles, etc. One article says it comes down to respect, we have to feel respected for what we do. I get that. I’m 10 years in. In #edchat I think the consensus I saw (and please comment below if not accurate) that it comes down to feeling that you are doing something successfully. That may mean helping students, helping a school, working with teachers, success has many faces. Unfortunately you can be successful in one area and frustrated in many others, and that causes an imbalance that leads to questioning things again.

I think I help my students. I think they learn from me. I have data to show it even (hahaha). I feel like they have skills when they leave my classroom that they didn’t have before. Is that enough to keep me here? It’s all I have right now. I love them.

For me, it’s because I love them.

I want to be respected, not sure if I am. On many levels disrespect is rampant, from nefarious negotiation tactics to parents who support their kid calling me horrible names in class. Colleagues respect me for the most part, or at least they are willing to use my work product and let me build curriculum for them. (Hmm, not sure if that is a good example or not.)

It is because I love them. As I tell my own son, the one I read Harry Potter to at night, "
You are a hard kid to parent, but you are worth it and I wouldn’t trade you for any other in the world." My kids in my classroom are my kids. I love them. I see them in the community now as adults and parents and even though they made me pull my hair out and it took everything I had to get them to capitalize ‘I’ and not use ‘allot’ as a word, they grow into adults and I am proud. I hope I had something to do with that transformation. I love them.

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