5 Inspiring Stories: Why Teaching Matters
Teaching is easily one of the hardest career paths a person can choose. Few other careers require as much knowledge, passion, patience, energy, and compassion – often all at the same time. Teaching is a career that can inspire you but also emotionally and physically exhaust you. With all of this in mind, why do we choose this impossible, incredible, inspiring career? Why do we keep teaching?
Many people teach because they were inspired by a teacher they had while in school. Others teach because they had family members who taught, and they also wanted to make an impact on students. Some teachers join the profession because they feel called to the classroom.
Whatever the case may be for you, every teacher has a reason why they teach.
As this new school year begins, you may not feel ready. Maybe you are walking into this school year still tired even after the summer break. Or perhaps you had a rough school year, and wonder if what you do really matters.
Let me tell you, it does.
There are so many stories of how teachers impact the lives of their students. Honestly, there are too many to write down. In case you need some inspiration, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite teacher stories; stories I’ve heard from you, from my teacher friends, and from things I’ve learned/discovered along the way.
Teaching matters, let me remind you why.
I was inspired by this story at a conference:
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it back into the ocean.
People watched her with amusement. She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
Teaching matters because, just like this little girl, you can’t make a difference to all of the students in the world, but you can certainly make a difference in one!
A friend of mine told me a story of a parent-teacher conference she had:
“A parent of one of my students came into school for a conference. He was a single dad who had clearly just gotten off work. He admitted to me that he never learned how to read well and was not good at it. He told me that I had to help his daughter learn how to read because he wanted better for her than he had. He had been limited by his lack of skills and had to work dirty, physically demanding jobs because he couldn’t read. He was desperate for me to help his daughter.”
Teaching a child to read well quite literally changes the course of their future! That matters!
Another teacher wrote this:
“Teaching has become a real passion only in the last few years. I have always loved to teach students that seem to have the odds stacked against them, but recently, I had to take a few years off because of physical burnout. I was able to come back to school with a brand new vitality and a real joy in seeing my students’ eyes light up when they finally understand what I’m teaching.”
Teaching matters because it builds self-esteem in children when their “I get it” moments are celebrated!
A homeschool mom said:
“I’m not a “certified teacher,” but I’m a homeschool mom! My daughter has DS (Down Syndrome) and is nonverbal. We couldn’t find a good classroom fit for her in kindergarten. The school system was not going to serve her well, so I teach her myself. Best decision I ever made!”
Teaching matters because sometimes we need to invest in those students that could fall through the cracks in our systems. Every child deserves a quality education!
One teacher said this:
“I love teaching because I love kids, and I love helping them discover who they can be. Having been the curious student who was told to learn how to be bored while my classmates finished their work, it is incredibly important to me to continue to challenge my students and try to keep their curiosity alive! How sad is it when learning is no longer exciting?!”
Our students have the potential to change the world! Teaching matters because like this teacher said, we can help our students discover who they can be!
Teaching matters so much. Sometimes it can be hard to remember, but what you do makes an impact! You work hard, lesson planning, creating teaching strategies, improving classroom management – more than anyone outside of the profession can truly understand.
If you are feeling tired, burn out, disheartened, remember that no matter how difficult your day gets, you change the lives of the children who shape our future. This school year, be encouraged with the knowledge that the work we do, as difficult and impossible that it may seem, changes the world!
Wishing you the best this school year.