Up until recently, if anyone asked, I became a teacher because I loved helping people reach their full potential, but I teach English because words are my religion.
I love my students with my whole heart. I may not enjoy the standardized tests, grading, late nights of planning, unlimited exhaustion, reply-all emails, parent conferences, and so on. However, I love my students.
I don’t love them because they’re bodies in seats, and they give me something to do each day. I don’t love them because I’m a power-hungry monster who wants to mold the brains of the next generation. I love them because they represent potential. They represent hope. I love them because they give me a voice.
Before becoming a teacher, I just wanted to spread good grammar and speech to the masses. I wanted to be a martyr. I wanted the “I did that” moment. I didn’t think about IEP meetings, empowerment, representation in literature… I just wanted students to be able to prove that they were literate.
When I stepped into the classroom, I became a mom. My students became my babies. With new laws that directly affect my student population, I became their Army, Marine, Navy, and National Guard. I search for activities to give them a voice. I hunt for ways for them to know their value. My ideas of martyrdom transformed into action, but no longer for selfish reasons. I don’t care to be nailed on the cross; I just want my students to be able to touch the road to freedom.
When my students know their worth, they become my biggest accomplishment.
Why do you teach?