Why do I teach?

“What do you do?”

“I’m a pre-school teacher…I teach Pre-K.”

“Oh wow, how do you do that? I could never do that.”

You’re probably right. Being a teacher is simultaneously the most rewarding and difficult job I have ever had. I wake up every morning with a list in my head: what’s our art project today? What’s the weather like? Who is going to be there today? Who had a rough day yesterday? What books should I read? What is my room out of? 

I enter a classroom where there are approximately 12 smiles and 12,000 questions. I am bombarded with love and curiosity the second I step in the door. I treat walking into my school’s building like walking on a stage–I check my hair, fix my dress, put on a smile, and take steps full of confidence onto my stage. I’m on. There’s my loving(?) audience, my people–my students.

I teach because every inch of my body, my soul, my spirit aches for it. It is my calling, it is my destiny. I never knew I could love so deeply and without bounds–these children are more than students that I spend 8 hours a day with, they are my friends. They tell me their secrets, their dreams, their stories, their jokes. They make me laugh harder than most adults, they make me question the world around me. They make me reconsider the things I know, they help me grow and understand. My students open my mind and my heart to capacities I didn’t know were possible.

I teach because I have the patience and the drive. I have the creativity for lesson plans, art projects, songs, and games. I have the intelligence to teach a child to read,  understand monetary values, and what humpback whales eat. I teach because I have a sense of humor, an appreciation for the bizarre, and genuinely enjoy the company of my students. I teach because I care deeply about the education, happiness, and excitement of school each of my students possess.

The early education field is constantly under rapid fire from my state’s legislation. There are many people that do not understand that pre-school is when key moments in a child’s social, emotional, and academic development occur. Pre-school is when a child is learning HOW to learn. It’s where they meet new faces, respect new adults, and gain skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. I don’t teach for self-gain, I teach to enhance the lives of these children as early as possible. I’m not a baby-sitter, I’m an educator, and a damn good one.

I teach because it has always been in my soul to teach. I have always loved school and teachers. My role models have always been educators, and I am the person–and the teacher–I am because of them.

I teach because I was born to do it. I was meant to make an imprint in this field,. 

I’m exhausted with the importance of teachers, education, and schools being discussed. If you can read my words, thank a teacher. If you can develop concrete opinions and ideas about my words, thank a teacher. Education is often a thankless, tiresome, and draining job–so why do I do it?

Because at the end of the day, no matter how tired I am, I have made some sort of impact on my community, my city, my state, my country, my world. It makes all the long days, short breaks, and work worth it. 

And that is something my state’s government can’t take away, no matter how hard they try.

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