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Why Teach?

Why Teach?

By Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatick

Why should people consider becoming educators? Henry Brooks Adams, the American novelist, journalist, historian and academic offered the following about the lasting effect of teachers: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Being a teacher can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience.

In addition to leaving lasting legacies that will last generations, another major reason for becoming a teacher is the love for children and adolescents. Teachers are passionate, caring, and thoughtful about the youngsters with whom they work. Finding the most appropriate and relevant ways to facilitate their students’ learning is like solving a complicated puzzle for the educators. But, when they see the “Aha” or the “light bulb go off” look on their students’ faces when they finally comprehend the meaning of a new vocabulary word, or they grasp a challenging concept, teachers feel most satisfied and pleased.

Making a difference immediately upon graduation from a university is another motivation for choosing the teaching profession. Teacher candidates believe that through their gift of being collaborators and motivators they can make a change in their students’ and their families’ lives for the better. They enjoy the opportunity to empower their students to improve their world.

Always learning and growing intellectually is another reason for becoming an educator. Sure, at first many teachers find the idea of having the three months of summer off very appealing. However, they soon discover that in order to keep abreast of the new developments and effective teaching methods, they have to continuously seek professional development and enhance their knowledge and skills. In many instances, they discover a new passion that leads them to work with students that they had never even considered.

Teaching is always challenging. It is never boring or mundane. Ask a teacher to describe a typical day, and they will frequently tell you that there is never a typical day. Sure, there are schedules and bells, but every minute of every day is different than what occurred previously. This constant mental and physical stimulation provide a joyful and rewarding ‘rush’ for many teachers that are rarely found in any other profession.

Finally a good and effective teacher is the dedicated, committed, and passionate individual who “day after day connects students to the rigors and reward of learning” (Bunting, 2006). And, it is the hopes that the world will be a better place for all that dwell in it that prompts teachers to become educators.

Bunting, C. (2006). Good teachers: Who they are and how we fail them. The Clearing House (79) 245-246.

Cookson, P. W. (2005). Why teach? Retrieved on July 10, 2009, from

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