A Collection Of My Thoughts
Broken To Fulfilled – 12 Reasons Why I Teach
From Broken To Fulfilled – 12 Reasons Why I Teach
I am thankful. Every day I wake up, I am thankful that I am alive to teach and make a difference.
To say anything less than thanks for my current situation in life would be a lie. You see, back in 2015, when I accepted my first job in education as an aide in a behavior classroom, I had no doubt this was going to be the launch of a fulfilling career, and that there could be nothing to get in my way. Oh, how crazy I was to believe it would be this easy to make a 180 and turn towards teaching.
About two weeks before I was to begin my new job in January, I suffered a four-wheeler accident, broke my femur, and found myself faced with a harsh reality. I could not work in this behavior class because I couldn’t run and assist with the needs of the behavior unit while I was on crutches, or in a wheelchair.
As crushing as this was, I knew a time would come after rehab that I would be on my feet, able to land a full-time teaching job, and I would be able to finally launch into my career. I could go on and on about my journey, which began long before the accident in 2015, but this was one of the final events that sealed the deal for me.
I broke a bone, faced a test, and chose to persevere through it all.
As I began my initial recovery, I went and worked in the business world, with my walking cane and all, and I had another choice to make. Will I become a teacher and take on the feared 1st year, or will I continue to work in the business world?
Clearly, I jumped. Risk and all, faith and fear, I jumped into what I am now amazed at. This journey, though it’s too much for one post to contain, is one I am humbled to be a part of.
These reasons below scratch the surface of this reality of mine, why I am here, why I exist and why I teach. I am honored to share these with you and hope they serve as a reminder, a challenge or an inspiration.
I am a teacher, and I choose to live this life and do this meaningful work…
1. To love on kids
I have always felt called to make a big difference and work with people, but as I grew up in church I constantly found myself helping in children’s ministry. I have always loved kids, but as I grew, and recently became a dad, I learned how God had given this desire to me. We all have different reasons we teach but this is the most foundational for me, and the most important. We must all love on our students.
2. To play a big role in creating a better world now
How amazing is it that we are shaping the future, and that the students we teach are actually able to make a difference right now!
3. To inspire and create change where there was despair
The side to teaching we talk about often enough is all the baggage many of our students bring to our classrooms everyday. You can see it in the way they talk or act, there is plenty of hurt, discomfort or stress that we can help to ease. When I see this in a student I always love that I can help and offer an ear to listen.
4. Because I love freedom from cubicles and time-sheets
If you use to work in a cubicle, or have to submit time-sheets for the “billable” and “non-billable” work you completed that particular week… then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
5. To use up my potential to the fullest extent
I am definitely a fan of summers off and having more time with my family. Spending time with my son is beyond important too- I can’t believe he is walking now! But, I use to work in offices where I would come home and feel like I accomplished nothing. I have tons of energy by nature, and I always use to feel like I only used half of my full potential, so for me, jumping into teaching made lots of sense. I love the feeling of fulfillment after a long day at school (granted, that may mean I’m pretty tired but it’s always worth it!)
6. Because of the impact teachers had on me
I will write about this in an upcoming post, but seriously, how can any of us claim we became a teacher if it weren’t for some of the amazing teachers we’ve had? We teach because of those who modeled to us the life-giving joy that happens in classrooms everyday.
7. To remind kids they matter and have potential
This point is another one of those key ingredients for me, but it is so important to mention here. Forging and maintaining a genuine connection with my students is partly why I love what I do. I love to meet them at their level and be honest. kids need to feel a genuine investment from their teachers and I get to provide that.
8. Because the ed-movement going on is contagious
Here’s another thing I’m going to write about soon. I first considered teaching because of my love for kids, but after that it was a glimpse at the revolution going on in our schools that inspired me to take this seriously. I went to EdCamp Dallas in 2015, before I was even done with my Alt Cert progra, and I decided then that teaching was for me.
9. To inspire young men that teaching is worth it
I want this to be part of the legacy I leave. We need more men in this profession. Period.
10. To experience the joy and life found in kids
Everyday is a new day and you never know what will happen. I love this truth, and I love that I can set the atmosphere in my classroom so that we all share in the joy kids bring inside. Every child has wonder, joy and life to give and we must allow them to share it.
11. Because if I don’t step up, who will?
This. The charge of “Who will stand with me?” is one I have known for awhile and it motivates me everyday. It is like how I enlisted in the U.S. Army and knew I was one of the few. When it comes to teaching, you ARE one of the few. We must remember how special we are for doing what we do.
12. Because these kids deserve it
Kids deserve our very best, every single day. Thinking about this inspires me to always walk in ready to make a difference.
Why do you teach? What inspires you? Please share some of your own inspirations and reasons you wake up every day to go to your classroom, campus or space of creating change.
Let’s continue to take learning to the next level.