I #loveteaching!

I #loveteaching because teaching is real. When we teach, we are accountable to our students and their families in a way that can’t be measured, but can be felt. I’m connected to my students and their future lives by every kind word, every carefully worded note of feedback, every call home — even the grades I enter in the digital grade book mean something real and visceral, serving as the steppingstones to college and professional livelihoods.

There’s a story about my husband that’s told within our circle of friends. Before he met me, my husband went on a blind date with a woman working on product development for a major food company. As they ate their dinners, she told him about working nights and weekends. My husband, who is no stranger to 60- and 80-hour weeks, finally exclaimed in mystification, “But…they’re just snacks!” Our long hours in teaching are driven by the compelling connection with kids and their lives – every extra bit that we do can make a real difference. Sometimes it’s hard for me, too, to imagine wanting to work long hours for anything less compelling.

Julie Blaha of Anoka, Minnesota, once said “There’s nothing that could motivate me more than the thirty students looking at me right now.” I agree wholeheartedly, and it’s those thirty (or thirty-five, or two hundred) students that make me #loveteaching. Every day, teaching means the difference between self-confidence and defeatism; between competence and apathy; between literacy, numeracy, and ignorance. Every day, teaching means leading the way to a future we can all anticipate with gladness. I like snacks, but I #loveteaching.

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